Google loves social/mobile/local interaction. They have always coveted the personal data that Facebook has, the mobile data that Apple has, and the local data that Yelp has. They continue to make strides in all three areas with the most recent advancement coming in the form of "Local Guides".
It's like Yelp Elite, so much so that I would be shocked if Yelp doesn't cry fowl in one way or another. People can apply to be these Local Guides and they can earn minor benefits for hitting milestones such as 50 high-quality reviews as well as 200.
Before anyone starts alerting their staff, friends, and local cousins to get their Google Reviews pumped up, let's keep one thing in mind. Google has the money to try and fail at things and they do so much more often than they succeed. I learned long ago not to jump on something that Google rolls out just because it says Google. In fact, I'm less inclined to try their new products or services or to even pay attention to them when they roll out.
With that said, it gives us a valuable piece of information that can help dealers. They aren't giving up on local as some had started saying last year. They're pushing forward and are likely developing additional ways to innovate the product.
The action plan here is simple:
Nobody knows if Local Guides will work out, but we can be certain that Google is still trying to make their local services more relevant.