Is Google Places Replaced by Google+ Local? - Blurbpoint
Sanket Patel

Posted by Sanket Patel

June 02, 2012

Google 21 min read

Is Google Places Replaced by Google+ Local?

Today, Google Places pages are replaced by Google+ Local Pages and it contains various features such as rating system that developed by its New York based Zagat subsidiary. According to Google’s Marissa Mayer, from today morning, 80 million Google Place Pages have been converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages. This change is done for the betterment though it will certainly disorient some users and business owners.

Various Numbers of Changes that Implemented

Below overview is detailed information on what’s new and what’s changing:

  • For Google Places pages, the substitution of the new Google+ Local pages (as mentioned).
  • Zagat reviews are obtainable for free!
  • The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
  • Addition of circles filters to search reviews from family/colleagues/friends.
  • The addition of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)

Now, static places will give more way to more dynamic Google+ Local pages. Zagat 30-point rating scale also replaces Google’s star ratings. Marissa Mayer said that Zagat scores can express much more separation and shade as it contains separate scores for food, service and atmosphere. 30-point spread also treats everything from converging at 3.5 stars is greater.

Here, you can find example for “Barnabas health”. In its first screenshot, it can be seen “old” Places layout. The second is the latest search results, sans stars.

Google Places Old Layout
Google Places New Layout

Reliable knowledge, numerous Doorways:

In various different ways, users are able to discover the new Google+ Local pages: through search on Google.com or Google Maps, in mobile apps or through a search on Google+. Within Google, Google+ becomes another local search destination, with richer content and more functionality than Google.com offers at the SERP level. Users are able to sort and filter search results by various criteria that comprise “your circles,” which will reveal places “touched” by friends. At present, this means reviews and posts that could expand to check-ins later.

Originally, Google is also hoping to make places into interactive content pages which merchants would use frequently to talk with customers and prospects. Well, it is not possible in part due to its limitations of places pages themselves. Now, Google+ pages are much adaptable and social as compare to Google Places. In fact, it provides Google a local vehicle with more functionality equivalent to Facebook and Twitter.

Google+ Local pages are more interesting and they also allow the presentation of a wider variety of information types than Google Places allowed. Google also said that there will be many more merchant features to come in a post on the Google and Your Business Blog.

We know many of you have already created a Google+ Page for your business, and have been hosting hangouts and sharing photos, videos and posts. We’re excited that we’ll soon extend these social experiences to more Google+ Local pages in the weeks and months ahead.

Here, you can find another example of Google+ Local profile page. When it comes to talk about Google+ Local profile page, the design as well as functionality is much better than before!

Google+ Local profile page

Detection and Search

You will reach to a personalized local home page if you will click new local tab in Google+ as it provides a mix of popular, social and recommended content. There are numbers of variables which go into the content which appears on this page. People can explore this home page content or find as they usually would on Google Maps or Google. Users are asked to fill out more structured from and also leave comments instead of being asked to rate businesses along a 4 or 5 point star range. At the discretion of Zagat, some of them online reviews also make it back into Zagat proper.

Mobile: a Quite Complicated:

On android handsets, these changes emerged very quickly in what was the places layer on Google Maps for Mobile and in the Google+ app. To Apple for review and approval, Google has submitted app updates. Quickly, it will be updated and accessed in a different way than on Android handsets. In June, it is hope that Apple will replace Google maps with its own maps. Apple users are also able to access this Google+ Local experience through the Google Places and the Google+ app on the iphone. Well, it is completely stronger and more useful locol mobile search experience for consumers due to Zagat content.

Google+ Local Pages will be Indexed

This conversion of places pages to Google+ local pages is taking into consideration whether these places pages were claimed by business owners or not. For merchants, there is nothing that will be changed immediately. Recently, Google says in its Google and Your Business post “If you are a business owner, you should continue to manage your information in Google Places for Business. You’ll still be able to verify your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews. For those who use AdWords Express, your ads will operate as normal as they’ll automatically redirect people to the destination you selected, or your current listing”.

Business owners are efficiently dropped into the social fight with lots of customer-interaction potential in-spite of temporary calm. Here, the ton of SEO potential and mostly note unlike Google Places pages these new Google+ Local pages will be indexed. Google said about managing of multiple locations from a single page,that there is no news for the time being but that the ultimate goal:

A single page through which businesses can manage their online presence is a top priority, and we’re committed to ensuring business owners have a clear voice in how their business is represented on Google, via Google+.

Some preface Final Thoughts: These are some main changes that Google has make in the fabric of local for both consumers as well as marketers. They will also improve the consumer’s experience with comparatively small adjustment and learning curve. Well, people are going to use Google as it provides various benefits of the richer pages and Zagat ratings. Google is not going to forced to use Google+ to get the new content.

By the same token Google probably hopes that millions of local merchants creating and enhancing dynamic pages and content can bring additional usage and greater engagement to Google+. We’ll see how it plays out.

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