Internet Marketing Tips, Suggestions, & Ramblings

Google Kills Google Places and Merges with Google +

Every once in a while in search engine optimization and social media something earth shattering happens. Something that makes you want to take a deep breath, sprint to the top of a mountain and scream the breaking news through a megaphone for the whole world to hear! This is not one of those times, but its close to one of those times for people who work in local SEO.

People have been anticipating the merge between Google + Pages and Google Places for sometime now. Well, it has finally happened. Google Places is no more and Google + Pages are now the centerpiece for local Google business marketing.

Public sentiment in the early hours of this launch is positive. Most people see this as a good thing. Google + Pages are more social, the provide increased opportunity for optimization and they render excellent from a mobile perspective, something that is critical for local businesses.

According to Search Engine Land, these are the major changes.

  • The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages (as mentioned) for Google Places pages
  • The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
  • The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews (its entire archive across categories)
  • The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)
  • Integration of a circles filter to find reviews/recommendations from friends/family/colleagues
  • Static Places now give way to more dynamic Google+ Local pages. Google’s star ratings are also being replaced by the Zagat 30-point rating scale (for user reviews as well).

The Google + pages will be able to be found through Google.com, Google Maps and through the Google + search interface. This has made Google + immediately another local search destination for users.

Let’s take a look at one of the new local business pages

Google Plus Local Pages
Google Plus Local Pages

As you can see from the layout:

  • You can easily write a review by clicking on the blue button
  • Maps are listed below the profile picture
  • Zagat reviews are listing just below the address, phone number and hours
  • There is also a photos section on the lower right where you can “see inside”

OK so a few last points and then we will wrap this up. Mobile is critical for local and the Google + pages look excellent on a smart phone. The local pages will be indexed well in regular Google and the Google Mobile search space. Overall, there is a new king of local Google search in town.

Have a question or comment? Leave it below!

About Garry Grant

Garry Grant is a veteran expert in search engine optimization and the digital marketing industry. With nearly 20 years of experience, Garry has successfully built a multi-service operation at SEO, Inc., developing proprietary technologies through complex strategic solutions. He has extensive experience in key initiatives and operational responsibilities grounded in information technology and performance management.

Garry’s expertise and esteemed reputation, coupled with SEO Inc.’s impressive client success record has earned him such accolades as Entrepreneur Magazine's 2005 Hot List for the Hottest Internet Property, Inc. 500 2007 Honorary award for Fastest Growing Private Company in America, an Inc. 500 top 50 Company in San Diego, and interviews with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post.

Garry Grant began his online career in 1993 creating strategic Web and e-business solutions for Homepage.com, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Premiere Radio Networks, Clear Channel Communications, EarthLink and Artisan Motion Pictures. Today, Garry and SEO Inc.’s highly skilled digital strategists develop proprietary technology and strategic digital marketing direction for Fortune 500 companies including, SC Johnson, McAfee, Entrepreneur.com., Inc Magazine, IGN, Tacorri, LPL Financial, National Kidney Foundation, G4 TV, Fuel TV and Sony, just to name a few.