What the move from Google Places to Google+ Local means to you

Posted on June 21, 2012

You’ve heard of Google+ right? The Google social network aiming to take a bite out of the Facebook pie? If not, you’re not alone – Google+ is still struggling to gain users in its quest to compete not only against Facebook, but also Twitter, Pintrest, and other social media outlets. Despite the gap between their social media peers, Google+ isn’t going to take this lying down; the internet search giant has decided to leverage what it does best to bolster the performance of Google+. What this means for you is that your company can no longer ignore Google+ as a social media tool in your toolbox.

Once upon a time, businesses could easily get listed on Google Places, a local resource that helped customers find store hours, locations, and far more. And businesses still are; you can claim your business (do so here), and if you haven’t yet, you should. What’s new is the integration of Google+ Local into the Google+ mainframe. Only Google+ users will be allowed to post reviews of a business, share with their circles, and basically spread your wonderful company around the web.

This new integration will increase the potential for your business to show up additional times in search, give more weight to your reviews, and help Google get your company information to the right places. But if you take it one step further and create a Google+ page for your business, the benefits to your Local page are nothing to sneeze at. Verified pages in Google+ are allowed to enhance their Local pages, posting photos, videos, and updates, and responding to reviewers/moderating comments. By integrating what you are doing on your Google+ page with your Google+ Local listing, your business has an easy (and free!) way to increase your reach and improve your search rankings. Remember, the more places you live on the web, the better your results will be, and this is just one more way Google is leading the charge.

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