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Goodbye Google Places, Hello Places+


Google has once again changed their services with no warning to business owners. If you have a Google Places listing then now would be a good time to see how it looks with the new changes.

There will be more changes rolling out soon; your places page will eventually be integrated with your Google+ business page. This will allow for a much richer local listing experience. It seems that Google really wants people to use Google+ and this is a great way to get a bunch of businesses active on the social network.

The new Google Places snippets

I’m always down for some fish and chips, let’s see what options I have:

jimbos fish n chips snippet


Pappas fish n chips snippetIt looks like Pappas is more popular, but just to be fair I’ll look at both listings.

The new Google Places listings

jimbos fish n chips listing

That gives me very little information, let’s look at Pappas:

pappas fish n chips listingThis is more like it, I think I’ll be going to Pappas for lunch. The only issue I have with this listing that the owner can directly control is that there’s room for more images.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the new rating system. Last year Google bought Zagat and it looks like they’ve adopted their rating system. You now rate business on a scale of 0-3 in different categories. A score if 30 is the best score you can possibly get.

What now?

Hopefully this will convince you how important it is to optimise your listing. Krissy wrote an excellent guide to optimising your Google Places listing. It’s obviously outdated now, but all the info is still very relevant.

If you’re not on Google+ yet, I’d recommend doing that now. You don’t have to be active, but it’s another free property and could possibly enhance your local listing when Google integrates both properties. If you’re keen to be active on Google+ I wrote a little guide to being successful on Facebook which translates to Google+ and any other social media network.

If you want to get nerdy David Mihm is currently chronicling the new changes to Google Places.

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3 Responses to Goodbye Google Places, Hello Places+

  1. Eri says:

    Nice post Jesse. I think Google is testing Zagan in Sydney for the moment.
    Moving the google places inside G+ looks like a very desperate move from Google, is a shame but it looks like another Google Wave/Buzz failure

    • Jesse Palmer says:

      This could go either way. It’s hard to predict which new Google product will succeed. All of them seem dumb at first (especially Google Goggles). I thought Wave was cool after I used it. I saw lots of potential there, but it had too many bugs and really shouldn’t have been released so early. In the end I doubt this move will give the long term boost to Google+ that they’re hoping for. It’s just too much for the normal SMB to properly deal with.

  2. Eri says:

    Well, I agree with you, Google products are cool, i love the interface of G+. But for some reason they are not getting that critical mass of users.

    Did you saw that they bought Meebo recently ? It looks like another attempt to add an extra feature to the social network.

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