Google is downplaying a confusing 30-point scale it’s given local businesses in search results.
It inherited the system from Zagat, the local guide business it bought last year to bolster its search results.
The Zagat acquisition was one of the last deals Marissa Mayer pushed through as head of Google’s local business before she left to run Yahoo.
Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee argues that adopting the Zagat system was a mistake, since Google’s own reviews and sites like Yelp have trained most Internet users to expect a system built around points or stars—usually on a scale of one to five.
Now Google is asking consumers to rate businesses as “Poor-Fair,” “Good,” “Very Good,” or “Excellent.” It’s still converting those ratings into a Zagat-style score, but it’s displaying the descriptive terms rather than the score on individual reviews.
The Zagat system is distinctive, but it’s really only useful to people who were familiar with it from Zagat’s printed guides.
Take it away, and one wonders why Google did the Zagat deal in the first place.
Here’s the new review interface, via Search Engine Land:
Photo: Search Engine Land