Google Places now merged with Google+ to make Google+ Local

by on July 30, 2012

Google Places now merged with Google+ to make Google+ Local

Google Places as we knew it is now a thing of the past.  The folks at Google have taken the popular local business listing platform and merged it with Google+ to create… Google+ Local.

What is the significance of this for your small business?  Not much…and a whole lot…depending on how you look at it.

The “not much” side

The Google Places merge to Google+ Local was an auto-conversion.  There was absolutely nothing you needed to do, and you will continue to manage your small business account the same way through your Google Places account.

The “whole lot” side

Google+ Local means a more social interactive version of Google Places.  Check out the Google+ Local demo video to see the changes.  There is a Local tab within Google+ that now, alongside your Google Places information, shows Zagat reviews (replacing the Google Star ranking system) and a circle filter option showing reviews from your Google+ circles.   For those small business owners not involved so far on Google+, this means you’ll be left out of the social interaction of Google+ Local.  This is a major new reason for getting your business on Google Plus.

It’s really your choice.  You can continue to think of it just as Google Places the online directory where you’ve entered your small business info for sales leads and search marketing, or you can think of it as Google+ Local, where online directory meets social interaction. It’s always a perfectly reasonable option to see how things play out before deciding how much time and energy to devote to a new online marketing tool.

Polish your Google plus profile

One thing that you should at least have a quick look at is how your new Places listing looks in the G+ interface. Google has automatically switched over your information, but it might not be laid out as you’d like. Your logo might not be your main profile photo. You might have photos missing in your photo bar at the top of the profile. Check it out and make adjustments to ensure that you are putting your best face forward to potential customers.

For more information, you can check out the Google and Your Business Blog Article and this helpful article from Search Engine Land.

So do you have a Google Places listing? Has it made any difference to your internet marketing efforts? Does this new social side get you excited? Let us know in the comments!

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?
Image source:  Vlado /

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