For those looking to increase their business search engine optimization by placing their company listing on Google Places, you’ll be shocked to learn it will soon be gone according to a recent story by Search Engine Land.
Google Places and Google+ Local Pages have merged and Google Places will be phased out for a new “Zagat-influenced” Google+ Local tab, which is found under the “Circle” button on your Google+ search page.
What does this mean for your current business listing?
If you already have a Google Places listing, it was or will be automatically converted to the Google+ Local Pages listing. According to Search Engine Land’s blog, “As of the morning of May 30, 2012, nearly 80 million Google Place pages worldwide were automatically converted to Google+ Local Pages.”
Below is a brief list of what’s changed with listings.
- There is now a “Local” tab within Google+ that didn’t exist before.
- There are Zagat reviews associated with many listings, replacing the previous five-star rating system. (Note: Google bought Zagat in 2011.)
- Google+ Local Pages are also now integrated with all Google properties, such as Maps, mobile, etc.
- Google Circles are also in on it; use the circle filter to find reviews/recommendations by your connections.
- The Zagat 30-point scale is replacing the Google star rating (a rating key is provided on the search results page, just under the main map area).
The image you see here is a search engine results page (SERP) for “steak houses in New York City.” You can see the map listing, as well as Zagat rating for the restaurant on the search results page. In addition, you can see how many people in your Google Circles rated the restaurant.
My Business Doesn’t Have a Zagat Rating
This works well for restaurants and places with a Zagat rating, but what does that mean for other business that may not have a Zagat rating?
As you can see from the Marketing Firms in New York City search, there are no ratings per se, but the company listing is still there along with the image or map associated with the listing.
- Check your business listing in the new “Local” tab on Google+ pages. See how it’s being displayed.
- If you don’t have your business listed on Google “Places” now is the time to add it to your listing services list.
- Also consider making updates to your business listing by adding a call to action or an image to help make it stand out.
How do I update my listing?
- Go to www.google.com/local/add
- Sign in using your password and Google Account ID
- Enter your PIN in the field next to your business listing. Click “Go”.
If you do not remember or do not have any of this information, you can request a login via either email or postcard. Then complete the process once you have that information.
Tell us what you think.
Have you checked out Google+ Local Pages? If so, tell us what you think? Will it prompt you to update your listing?