Google is constantly changing its algorithms and platforms. What once was a new phenomenon is now old news. On May 30, 2012, Google officially announced the merge from Places to Google+ Local. Eighty million Places pages that were once part of Google Places Maps were converted to Google+ Local pages.
So now the question is what does Google+ Local offer that Google Places does not?
- If you log into your Google+ you will see 2 different page tabs: a Google+ page for your actual business and a Google+ Local page for your business location
- Similar to Facebook, you can now add managers to your Google+ Local pages
- You can claim and verify a page based on a name, address, and phone number
- You can add your Google+ Local page to your circles of friends, acquaintances, and other circles
- Zagat reviews are taking over the rating system for a more optimized, unique, and trusted rating
Here are some of the benefits
- Better visibility in the search engine results pages
- More unique reviews to your business
- Better paid search results (2 ads in one)
- A platform of organization
- Ultimately being favored by Google
Here are some of the possible cons
- Many profiles that have moved from Places to Google+ have unverified locations
- Duplicate pages with Network Access Protection information most likely don’t get verified
- As of this moment, there is only one user email that can claim and verify a listing at a time (so the process to claim a listing can only happen once)
If you haven’t yet created and optimized your Google+ Local page, it’s imperative that you do so. In Google search results, Google+ pages are favored over other social media pages. Creating a Google+ profile for your business will enable you to share your location, prove credibility, and reach local customers.