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Facebook helps you find highly-rated local businesses

The social network takes on Angie's List, Yelp and others.

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Facebook is putting those business ratings you've been entering on its Pages to work. With a new Professional Services portal, the social network lets you search for the highest-rated businesses if your area in a variety of categories. When you need to find a contractor, plumber, doctor, event planner, mechanic or dog groomer (just to name a few), the new Facebook page is ready to help.

By offering this new search tool, Facebook is taking on the likes of Angie's List, Yelp and others that also compile user ratings and feedback for local businesses and services. Selecting one of the categories will display businesses in order of their rating (out of 5 stars) along with a snippet of a customer review. There's also a map on the results page, so you can see exactly what part of town each option is located. Under the map, you're also given a list of nearby cities, in case you can't find a solid choice where you live.

Additionally, there are more than just the few categories you're presented with on the main page. Once inside, the search tool can be used to find restaurants, bars and more -- not just a range of professional services. And as you might expect, the results list pulls in details from Pages like websites, contact info, hours of operation and more. If you want to give it a shot, the directory is ready to accept your queries.

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