This one’s a short summary
This one’s a longer, fuller explanation
We can see that Google is starting to drag reviews of local businesses in from non-traditional review sources. Hyperlocal sites and blogs are now supplementing review based sites’ (e.g. Qype) content and actual reviews.
- you don’t have to be flaming (or praising) a company in Google Maps for it to show up there (surely only time before live Twitter feeds show to? With sentiment scores?)
- off hand comments regarding dealers/retailers will get more directly effective publication right in the Places page
Local social is picking up. Hyperlocal is gaining a new audience. Search is the route in. As I said. Merging.