Google Places Update

As we all know Google is constantly updating their products and search algorithms.  Direct Etc. will keep up with these changes and get the information out to our readers as quick as we can! We know how important it is to the small business owners to keep up with these changes and adjust their business listings on the Internet to advance their brand and continue to grow business.

In an effort to bump up their social network Google+, the search engine has replaced Google Places with Google Plus Local.  When Google Plus launched in 2011, there was a lot of enthusiasm, however, the usage statistics did not keep up with the pre-launch hype.  With replacing Google Places with Google Plus Local, which will also interface with Zagat, Google hopes its 100 million users with start interacting more frequently on the social network and give Facebook more competition.

If you already have a Google Places page, it has been replaced with the new Google+ Local page.  So you don’t need to worry about doing anything with your listing.  Here is a list of changes that have been implemented.

  • The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages for Google Places pages
  • The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
  • The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews
  • The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties, i.e. search, Maps, mobile
  • Integration of a circles filter to find reviews/recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.

When Google launched Places their hope was that merchants would use it to interact and communicate with their customers and prospects.  This didn’t happen because of the limitations of Places.  Learning from that Google+ Local is much more versatile and social “friendly” with functionality equal to Facebook and Twitter.

These changes will enhance the consumer experience with a relatively small adjustment and learning curve.  Internet users will continue using Google as they have but get the benefit of the richer pages and Zagat ratings.  Millions of local merchants can use the technology to create dynamic pages and content and create greater engagement with customers and prospects.

If you don’t have your Google+ Local page, we encourage you to do so soon.  It’s free and easy to set up.  However, if you need some help, please contact us.

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