Last year, Google+ and Google+ Pages for business were released with great anticipation. In no time at all, companies of all sizes were looking into how they could take advantage. Of course, there was something else going on at the time: many people were wondering if and when Google would merge Google Places with Google+. Guess what? That day has come.
Google Places pages are no longer. From here on out, it is all about the new Google+ Local pages.
It will take Google a while to catch on, right? Wrong. Pretty much overnight, the search engine giant converted more than 80 million Google Places pages to Google+ local pages.
Despite the fact that most people will realize this is a good thing, it is sure to throw many businesses for a loop. Only those who keep up with the latest goings-on at Google will truly realize what this means and how to adjust.
Which Changes will I Notice?
Some users will notice a lot of changes. Others won’t recognize much, outside of some basic layout adjustments.
Here are a few things to be on the lookout for:
- The addition of a local option within Google+
- Google+ local pages have been added to Google Maps, mobile and search
- The use of Zagat reviews as opposed to the old “star system”
For a more comprehensive look into the results – including a comparison of past and current results – check out this article from Search Engine Land. They have included tons of great screenshots to better visualize the changes.
Business Management Tips
Are you concerned about what this means to your business and how it will appear in the search results? While changes have been made, it is nothing to be scared of. As noted above, it is actually for the better.
You can still update business information, description, categories, photos, videos, and other details via your Local Google+ and Google+ Business pages. This has not changed, at least for the time being.
It is true. Google Places is gone forever. That being said, Google+ has brought forth updates that many have been anticipating for nearly a year.
In closing, this SEEMS like more of an aesthetics update rather than also. However, I have noticed some significant gains over the last few days, so who knows and I am not complaining.