Google Maps has evolved fast, and with the latest release, it has become even more user-friendly. It now comes with features that can help users find latest and interesting things to do ‘nearby’, ‘match’ them with restaurants that they’re likely to enjoy and guide them to neighborhoods and dining spots based on their preferences.
One of the most exciting features of this update, it activates when a user taps on any restaurant listed on Google Maps and tells them how likely will they enjoy the place.
‘Your Match’ uses machine learning to generate a percentage match, which is based on a few factors, including:
- The user’s food and drink preferences as selected in Google Maps
- Details about the restaurant
- Places the user has visited recently
- Ratings and reviews that they’ve written for other restaurants
The percentage changes over time as the tastes and preferences of the users evolve. The feature, according to Google, is “like your own expert sidekick, helping you quickly assess your options and confidently make a decision.”
Redesigned ‘Explore’ tab
The new ‘Explore’ tab shows users dining venues, activities, and events nearby that are “new and interesting”. It will also show top trending lists, such as ‘Foodies List’, that display top trending restaurants in an area. The list is based on recommendations from local experts and trusted publishers, along with Google’s algorithms.
The ‘For You’ tab is to ensure that users are always aware of the best things happening in an area. It lets them follow neighborhoods and dining spots that they’re interested in. As users give more data, Google will start to send them ideas on what they can do the next time they’re going out.
What do these changes mean for business owners?
All these new features are either based on recommendations of local experts or ratings and reviews that customers have written in the past. This makes it essential for you, as a business owner, to get more reviews from your existing customers. Your customers will be writing more reviews to help train Google on their likes and dislikes anyways. These new features may even encourage customers who usually have a neutral opinion to write more reviews about businesses like yours.
Reviews and ratings continue to be a key factor in a customer’s decision to purchase goods and services. With this new recommendation engine, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google is trying to strengthen its influence over the buying process.
Businesses should invest not just in providing great customer experiences but also ensuring that they can collect reviews and ratings. If you need help in getting more positive reviews from your customers, consider signing up at BirdEye – a powerful online reputation management solution that lets you get more reviews, remain connected with your existing customers and grow your business.