What is Google Places? Should a business pay attention? How does it work?
Google recently announced that Google Places for Business was being replaced by Google+ Local. While things have changed for Google Places users and reviewers, not much has changed for business owners.
Here is what local businesses need to know about Google Places and Google+ Local.
Google Places is a free listing that appears in both Google Search results and Google Maps when people search for local businesses. Having a Google Places business listing makes it easier for people to find your company.
Once you have a listing set up, you can add information that potential customers may want to know about your business, including your address and phone number, hours of operation and photos of your location. Customers can also add reviews to your listing, detailing their experiences with your company.
These are the Google Places listings for a search for “Ottawa Dentist”:
In May, Google announced that Google+ Local had replaced Google Places and that Google Places listings would be integrated with Google+ Pages.
Currently, there’s still no way to combine your Google Places listing with your Google+ Page, but there are several changes to Google Places listings:
If you already have a Google Places business listing:
Continue managing your listing via Google Places for Business.
If you also have a Google+ Page, you’ll need to keep maintaining this page separately until Google lets you merge your Google+ Page with your Google Places listing.
Note: To make it easier to combine your Google+ Page with your Google Places listing (when Google allows this option) make sure to select the “Local Business or Place” category when setting up your Page and also use the same email address that you used to create your Google Places listing.
If you don’t have a Google Places business listing:
Note: If you use Google Apps, make sure to set up Google Places through your Google Apps account so that all of your Google products are connected.
Tips for creating your Google Places business listing: