Google is always up to something and let’s just say Google is at it again. This time the changes affect local businesses and how customers find and interact with you. Google Places has officially been retired and the new and improved Google Plus Local is taking over, but the main question on everyone’s mind is how does this affect Local Businesses in the future?
Google Plus Local?
Google Plus Local is the new way for local businesses to show up in the results when customers are shopping for your services or products in your area. Google is integrating Google Plus, its social networking site into local search results.
Google Plus Local is supposed to be a more social, interactive and streamlined experience then the current Google Places. Friends and customers will be able to comment and rate on the pages and results will also include reviews from Zagat a popular restaurant reviewer recently purchased by Google.
What Happens to my Current Google Places Listing?
Local Businesses that have current listing are already integrated into Google Plus Local. It’s not clear if once the transition is 100% complete if businesses will be forced to create a Google Plus Page. But for now if you want to update your Google Plus Local Page, you must sign in to your Google Places account and make changes as normal.
Google Business Pages are not Google Plus Local Pages
Currently, Google Plus Local and Google Plus for Business are not the same thing. This is definitely a source of confusion right now but just know that Google Plus Local is the new Google Places and Google Plus for Business is more like a Facebook Business Page. However, we do expect that in the future Google will integrate Google Plus Local and Google Plus for Business in some way.
What Does This Mean for Local Businesses?
Google is integrating social networking and search; businesses that are social savvy and understand the nature of social media will succeed and show up higher and more often than those who don’t care to play the social game.
This will also likely create a better search experience for customers, but Google Plus Local is an obvious way to compete with Facebook and drive more traffic to Google’s social networking site.
This means that in the future if you want to play ball with Google you are going to have to sign up to Google Plus and if you want to win the local search game you’re going to have to get social.
Need Some Help?
Learn more about Google Plus Local and how to get traffic and customers from local search by contacting DirectiveGroup by email or calling 1-866-925-9524.