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Google Is Hungry for Yelp

Yelp (NYSE: YELP  ) better watch its back.

One of the more interesting morsels coming out of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) I/O conference is that it's redesigning Google Maps. 

The search giant is making it easier to find nearby places to eat by encouraging user reviews so it can unveil other eateries in the area that the Google Maps user may enjoy. 

Google has always had a thing for foodies. It reportedly made a play to acquire Yelp four years ago that was rebuffed. It then went on to buy out Zagat to build up its in-house restaurant reviews. The new feature takes a page out of the Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) playbook by serving up better recommendations the more that a user contributes to the process. It's a strategy that worked brilliantly for Netflix in video. Will it work for Google in local search?

In this video, longtime Fool Rick Munarriz explains why Yelp investors need to keep a closer eye on Google and its rumbling stomach. 

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