Google will now let shoppers review products and see their friends’ reviews in the search results in Google Shopping, the company announced today.
Reviews from people in your contacts list will turn up along with the usual product listings in the search results and will show up first in the reviews section for products you’re interested in. You can also share the reviews you write on Google+.
User reviews have long been a part of Google’s search results, but recently the company has been leaning toward professional opinions. Google Maps, for instance, comes with Zagat ratings for restaurants as well as star ratings from customers. The company also purchased the travel guide publisher Frommers for its travel results.
So the question is, why do shoppers want opinions from friends?
“Reading product reviews has become an important part of how people research products and decide what to buy; in fact, last holiday season, 67% of shoppers read product reviews before making a purchase,” explained Karen Corby, product manager for Google Shopping in a blog post. “This means that it’s more important than ever to give users the ability to quickly find the reviews they trust the most — those from friends and family.”
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