As soon as Google+ and Google+ Pages were introduced less than a year ago, most people assumed it would only be a matter of time before Google would merge or integrate Google Places and Google+ Pages. Well, the time has come.
Roughly 80 million Google Place pages have been automatically converted into just as many Google+ Local pages. The dramatic changes will undoubtedly disorient some users and business owners, but it looks like it might be for the better.
A range of changes have been implemented. Here is a list of the essential changes:
- Google Places pages are now Google+ Local pages
- There is now a “Local” tab within Google+
- Zagat reviews have been integrated and are available for free
- Google+ Local pages have been integrated across Google Maps, Search, & Mobile.
- Circles filter have been integrated to find reviews from friends & family
- Static Places now give way to more dynamic Google+ Local pages
- Google’s star ratings are being replaced by the Zagat 30-point rating scale
Users will be able to discover the new Google+ Local pages in several ways:
- Search on Google.com or Google Maps
- Mobile apps
- Search on Google+
As a result, Google+ becomes another local search destination within Google, arguably with richer content and more functionality than Google.com.
These are major changes — for both consumers and marketers. While consumers will be able to go on using Google as they have been in the past, business owners will probably have a more difficult time transitioning as they now have to add Google+ to the list of online outlets to keep an eye on.
While much is still up in the air, one thing is certain; local search just got a lot more social.
If you need help with your new Google+ page, contact Goldman Marketing Group today to learn how we can help you better reach your potential patients!