Google Places Is Now Google+ Local: What You Should Know

On May 30th Google converted 80 million Google Places pages into Google+ Local pages

Franchise online marketers are now overseeing an empire, not just a kingdom. Their reach is offline and online, in websites, directories, social media, mobile devices, and beyond. And this empire continues to grow and change. Google's recent change to Google Places is no exception to how a franchise must watch their empire.

As a result, franchise marketers are scrambling to determine: the impact of these changes on their network of locations; any changes they need to make; how to manage the new Google+ Local pages; and determine how Google+ users are affected.

First, let's take a look at what changed. The old static Google Places page will now be a more dynamic social environment where business owners can engage with customers, and friends can recommend local businesses based on their personal experiences.

1) A brief overview of what's new and what's changing

  • The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages for Google Places pages.
  • The appearance of a "Local" tab within Google+.
  • The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews.
  • The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, maps, mobile).
  • Integration of a circles filter to find reviews and recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues.

2) What's critical for franchise marketers to know

  • You will still be able to manage your Google+ Local page through the Google Places dashboard for the foreseeable future.
  • You will still be able to respond to reviews through the Google Places dashboard.
  • Existing Google+ business pages will eventually get linked to matching new Google+ Local pages.
  • In your Places dashboard, clicking on "view" or "see your listings..." is still directing users to the old Google Places pages. Google is working on this (as of this writing).

3) What Google says about managing your Google+ Local page

"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."

4) A snapshot of how existing Google+ users be affected

For Google+ users, Google has added a new tab to the sidebar of the Google+ page named "Local." Clicking that local tab will allow the logged in Google+ user to find local businesses that interest them based on their friends' reviews or check-ins (coming soon) to these businesses. This logged-in search will include the previously mentioned social filters and new Zagat ratings to produce a rich, personally customized search experience.

5) Additional resources on Google+ Local

  1. An introductory video on the new Google+ Local pages.
  2. Google's own web page on Google+ Local.
  3. "8 Tips for Optimizing Google Places for Every Location," a 54-minute webinar we hosted earlier this month.

Jeremy LaDuque is co-founder and CEO of Elements, a provider of online marketing tools for franchise companies. In 2001, the firm created ElementsLocal, a franchise marketing tool used by more than 3,000 clients to manage their local online marketing activities. Elements, founded in 1999, is based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. To learn more, contact him at (805) 547-1160 or info@elem

Published: July 18th, 2012

Share this Feature


comments powered by Disqus
Golden Corral

Franchisor Topics »

Premium Services

Konnect Business Opportunity

Konnect is an agency with unmatched business acumen that provides public...

Tango Business Opportunity

Tango unites predictive analytics, GIS and store development into a single...

SOCi Business Opportunity

SOCi is a leading, next-generation SaaS solution for social media...

LMap Business Opportunity

Silvercrest Advertising's innovative Localized Media Automation Platform...

Franchise Leadership & Development Conference Business Opportunity

Franchise Leadership & Development Conference
Oct. 10-12, 2018 Intercontinental, Atlanta, GA. Over 350 franchise...

Management 2000 Business Opportunity

Management 2000
Management 2000 serving Franchisors since 1981. Our expertise: Granting...

919 Marketing Business Opportunity

919 Marketing
919 Marketing Co. is a national content marketing, PR and social media...

Silvercrest Advertising Business Opportunity

Silvercrest Advertising
Silvercrest Advertising has created a one-stop shop solution for all of...

Franchise Update Magazine

A targeted, quarterly magazine that takes CEO's, VPs and Sales Executives to the cutting edge of franchise development.

Subscribe to Franchise Update Sales Report

A Franchise Update Media Production
Franchise Update Media | P.O. Box 20547 // San Jose, CA 95160 // PH. (408) 402-5681
Copyright © 2001 - 2017. All Rights Reserved.

In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)