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Google Maps Makes Nearby Places Recommendations

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Suggestions run the gamut from competitors to simply next-door establishments.

If you're browsing Google Maps and click through to Place Pages, you might notice a new feature. "Nearby places you may like" is a recommendation feature designed to help users explore cities and neighborhoods.

Some suggestions seem to be related to proximity of the business whose Place Page you're browsing. Other suggestions seem to be competitors of said business.

Google says that the recommendations are not based on any single criteria. Rather, they use a set of broad signals, which they continue to refine.

Below is a screenshot for "Nearby places you may like" for a local yarn shop where I've been taking knitting classes recently.

Screen shot 2010-02-08 at 2.48.15 AM.png

There are suggestions for other yarn hooks, a movie theater, kids museum, toy shop, local indie paper, etc. It's quite eclectic.

Now, check out the "Nearby places you may like" for a independent coffee shop (that incidentally, is, in fact, near the aforementioned yarn shop though not listed in that place's recommendations).

Screen shot 2010-02-08 at 2.52.03 AM.png

Those are almost all coffee shop competitors. They're also great suggestions. Though there are a few I could add in place of Starbucks and Caribou - chains most people know about.

What are your first impressions of "Nearby places you may like?" Let us know whether or not you like the new feature by leaving a comment below.

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