Google Sticking It to Yelp

Friday, Jan 29, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Google Sticking It to Yelp

Jacques Brinon

Google employee Arthur Poirier, on a camera-equiped tricycle, records images for Google's Street View Maps in Paris, Friday, Aug. 7, 2009.

Controlling everything on the Internet is not enough for Google. The Silicon Valley giant now wants to take a bite out of Zagat and Yelp.

Google says it will begin tagging more than 100,000 businesses in over 9,000 cities across the country with stickers declaring them a "Favorite Place on Google." Think "People Love Us on Yelp" stickers but with a Google twist.

The search engine company is using its tech savvy, and presumably its deep pockets, to add bar codes to its stickers for smartphone users, who can then scan their device across the decal and find coupons and reviews of the business they are walking into.

"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," Google said on its blog Monday.

Some local restaurant owners told the San Francisco Chronicle they are excited about the idea but could the move wrestle smaller review competitors out of the market?

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