Google Places is now Google+ Local
Monday 2nd July 2012 2:07 PM
A quick brief for what has happened to Google Places.
Google have yet again made a step towards worldwide social media domination.
- As of May 30th Google automatically converted 80 million Google Places accounts into Google+ Local pages.
- It has also incorporated a review and rating tool using Zagat ( which works like trip advisor and will use its existing database to add to categories/businesses )
- Google+ Local pages has been rolled into Google Maps providing and instant screen shot of your business with reviews & photos ( if there are any )
- It will allow you to filter results using your Circles (if you have them set up) to let you know what friends/family colleagues have rated and reviewed.
- When logging into your Google Places account you will be prompted to create a Google+ account. (although NOT required)
Firstly you do not need a Google+ account in order to be visible in the search results or if you already had Google Places set up - as Google updated your Places Page to a Google+ Local Page automatically & you can still access GP's by using your usual log in details.
In principle when searching in Google the results will appear the same but give the impression of a revamped and better looking 'Places' results page with the score & summary card snapshot included. The way in which you are able to rate a business has moved away from the traditional 4-5 star rating used on many sites and requires you to complete a more structured form using the 'Zagat' 30 point scoring system, which they will obviously add to their extensive database for businesses.
Google+ unlike Google Places isn't just aimed at being a directory for businesses, it's aim is one that wants you to regard Google as not JUST a search engine provider and is to become a heavy hitter in the social media and interactive market. Google+ will allow businesses to develop followers and share the very same fundamentals available on Facebook such as message & chat etc they are also developing a tool that will allow users to 'Check In', yet Google aim to improve upon Facebooks Pages product as well as providing a similar environment.
So whether we want it or nor not Google gave it to us and made the changes for those of us who had a GP account - so should we be grateful??? you decide - HOWEVER you should consider this first... Google Places pages were not indexed for SEO, they did however allow us to make our virtual 'shop front' & 'entrance' that bit more appealing to prospects. Google+ Local pages on the other hand WILL be indexed, therefore allowing it to impact our SEO and so in my opinion does echo Google's ethos of providing relevant & local results for users.
Google have also stated in their post relating to Google+ ''If you are a business owner, you should continue to manage your information in Google Places for Business. You'll still be able to verify your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews.''
Furthermore, I do strongly advise that you familiarise yourselves with Google+ as this can only be a sign of things to come.
Let us at Serifnet know your thoughts on this change -& Did you notice?
Posted 2:07 PM | Permalink