Google Places has been migrated to Google+. What does this mean for you and your business?
What is Google Places?
First, in case you’re not very familiar with what Google Places is, lets do a quick recap before moving forward. Google Places is a great resource for your business to get found locally. With a Google Places business listing you get a profile that includes a basic business summary, link to your website, pictures, videos and maps. You’ve likely seen these listings and maps in the search engine results when doing local searches.
What is happening now?
Recently, Google+ (Google’s social networking site) added a new Local tab. Now G+ users can search for local businesses and browse categories to research directly from the social network. What they’ve done is migrate the Google Places listing into a Google+ business page. You can still manage the listing in the same place for now but Google is working on migrating all features and management over to G+.
For now, Google has transitioned Google Places listings to Google+ pages. If you already have a Google+ business page then you have two for now, but you’ll be able to merge the two soon.
If you’re still not familiar with Google+, please check out this post.
Zagat Reviews and Scores
Last year Google acquired Zagat. Zagat summaries and scores are now featured on the Google+ Local page listings. Also included now are reviews, recommendations and opinions from Google+. Its a good idea to be conscious of what is being said about your business here. Review your listing and any reviews.
What does all this mean anyway?
Google is very serious about integrating Google+ with all of their products as well as web searches. It’s important that you build a presence on their new network for both yourself and your business.
Consumers can search and find your G+ business page and see information about your company, read Zagat reviews as well as see what people in their network had to say about your company. These pages show-up in Google search results and on Google+.
Having an active presence on Google+ will give your business increased coverage and an ability to network and interact with local consumers. Google Places has proved to be a valuable tool over the years and the latest integration will be no different. If you’re still not involved with Google+ for your business, now is the time.