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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 Google + pages will be able to be found through, 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

As you can see from the layout:

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.

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