Google Announces “Favorite Places on Google”


“What if you could decide where to shop, eat or hang out, with a little help from local Google users?

It might take you a while to ask them all, so to make it easier we’ve launched a new effort to send window decals to over 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that have been the most sought out and researched on Google.com and Google Maps. We’re calling these businesses the “Favorite Places on Google” and you’ll now start to find them in over 9,000 towns and cities, in all 50 states. You can also explore a sample of the Favorite Places in 20 of the largest U.S. cities at google.com/favoriteplaces. Each window decal has a unique bar code, known as a QR code that you can scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices — including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more — to take you directly to that business’s Place Page on your mobile phone. With your mobile phone and these new decals, you can easily go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future. Soon, you’ll be able to leave a review on the mobile page as well, just like on your desktop.

To scan the codes, you’ll need a phone with a camera and an app that can read QR codes. For Android-powered devices, including the Droid by Motorola, we recommend using the free Barcode Scanner app. For iPhone, we have found the $1.99 QuickMark app to work best, and starting today, we’re partnering with QuickMark to offer the app for free for the first 40,000 downloads. For other devices, we recommend searching for “QR reader” in your app marketplace, if it has one, or searching for the model of your phone and [qr reader] on Google. BeeTagg and NeoReader are two other apps that we’ve found to work well with the decals.

Here’s a video that shows you how this all works:

This launch is part of our overall effort — online and offline — to provide you with the best local business results whenever you’re trying to figure out where to go, whether it’s a trendy Cuban restaurant in Philly, a comics shop in L.A., a hip hotel in NYC or a little bit of photographic history in Rochester, N.Y.

We plan to periodically send out new waves of window decals to qualifying businesses. If you own or manage a business and were selected as a Favorite Place, you may have already received your decal or, for most of you, it will arrive by mail in the next one to two weeks. If you weren’t selected in this round, your first step is to claim your listing with Google’s Local Business Center for free. That will help us determine that your business information is correct. Then, you can enhance your local business listing by adding enhanced content like photos and videos.

To explore a gallery of several hundred Favorite Places in 20 U.S. cities, to learn more about how to use the QR codes and to find out how your business can get involved, check out google.com/favoriteplaces.”

[Via Google Blog]


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  1. looking forward to see it spreading across the Globe, good business idea.

  2. Is that QuickMark application open to Android users? The link goes to iTunes…kinda weird.

  3. Will be awesome, why it is on an iPhone though? lol.

  4. I don’t understand why Google will prefer to use the Iphone instead of any of the Android phones to advertise this..It shows lack of confidence in Android phones.
    Its a shame.

  5. chuksy, I don’t feel it shows a lack of confidence in Android devices. The fact is, the iPhone still holds a very large market share and by not letting an iPhone have the same capability they’re not getting the word around as much. If anything, giving iPhone users a taste of the Android experience will possibly sway their mind when they get their next new phone.

  6. @ebird you don’t need quickmark on android phones just download barcode scanner its free

  7. To the three pep above…quickmark is just a barcode scan app for the iphone and is not in anyway related to android (which is irrelavent and who gives a shit)…but iphone users can use the app to search google favorite places…google just wants to open the service 2 everyone, even craptastic blackberrys….in the long run it will be better for them….fuck, read the article and understand it man…..

  8. I been experimenting with QR codes using http://www.beqrious.com/ I like there generator and they have a few interesting things they post on there blog.

  9. For those with questions about QR codes and the iPhone… QR codes have been used for a few years now and are popular in parts of Asia and Europe. In fact there are many print ads with them included now.

    So Google didn’t invent this technology and it is already incorporated in a number of devices. They simply found a way to use this application and integrate it with all that data/information they’ve been collecting for years on search behavior. What is most interesting here for me is…

    A.) This really is one of the first examples of all this data they have been collected over the years being used and put out publicly and perhaps down the road monetized…they could allow small businesses to pay and receive their own, which would allow them to have coupons, etc, while integrated on Google maps and search.

    B.) This obviously is preferential…no business would put it up if there was fear negative information would initially appear. Perhaps over time it will, but widespread adoption relies on businesses feeling comfortable putting their business out there to generate more business. So I think it kind of gives consumers the short end of the stick. They need to realize this initially and understand the value to the business is probably greater than to the consumer, at least for the time being.

  10. @Kevin – I don’t think chuksy meant not to support the iPhone, but that Google should have used any one of the many Android devices out there in the video, instead of the iPhone so much. Show it on all the platforms that can do this…

  11. I think this is great stuff. The phones really do not matter folks for QR Codes it is the readers that you need for the different mobile phones. In addition you can also use a web cam if the QR codes were on a magazine or direct mail piece as an example. The QR Code can give a lot more than the location. Good to see Google doing this.

    If you would like to learn more about examples of Qr Codes or readers go here: http://ilnk.me/d3b

  12. I actually just got a sticker in the mail for my web design. Wasn’t sure of what it was and checked it out.

    I also just bought a droid online today. :D

  13. Haha, awesome, we just got ours in too Andy. Too bad we really don’t have foot traffic to show it off to. Are you going to throw it up on your website or blog about it or something? I was thinking of doing that. Cheers and congrats!

  14. How about scan and then get special coupons for the businesses? Friend told me about it, looks like Seattle is the birth place for cool start ups. http://blog.judysbook.com/featuredplaces/

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