Local search just got a lot more social for Google.
As we anticipated, Google announced yesterday morning the merger of Google Places and Google+ Pages. Over the next 48 to 72 hours, approximately 80 million Google Place pages worldwide will be automatically converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages—including yours, if you have one.
A few items to note on the new Google+ Local pages:
- The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+ which links to a personalized local home (discovery) page. This page offers a mix of popular, social and recommended content. Several variables go into the content that appears on this page, so the page itself will differ based on access location.
- The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile) will provide users with an improved local search experience
- Integration of a “circles” filter to find reviews and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues
What does this mean for you and your page?
- Nothing on the back end has changed, so you will continue to manage information in Google Places for Business (now Google+ Local) as you are currently doing
- For G5 clients, better optimized search results as Google+ Local pages will be indexed
- Extension of all of these changes will show up immediately on Android handsets in what was the Places layer on Google Maps for Mobile and in the Google+ app
- Pay attention to your pages. With contributed content – including reviews, managing your online reputation is more important than ever. If you have not seen a demo of G5 Reputation Manager, now is the time.
We’ve been anticipating this change since Google launched Google+, and firmly believe our clients are well positioned to leverage this merger.