What Happened To Google Places?

Local Search Marketing Comes Of Age

These last few months I have been busy learning about Local Search Marketing. This is the process of getting business noticed in the local area and then driving qualified leads to them

Do it right, and you can get paid handsomely for your services.

 

 

Google Places

The method for creating a local presence on the internet is based around Google Places. When you do a search for a business type in your town, there is a section where you see an icon like the one on the left.

Most people will look at the first three on the list and then discard the rest. That means this is prime internet real estate.

If you look for services on your mobile android or Iphone, you will see the Google places listings first. That means if I am out and about and looking for a restaurant, a quick check on my mobile will reveal a number of local restaurants I can visit.

Google+ Local

In the last week there ahs been a change. Google Places has disappeared and in its place is Google+ Local. The places pages are now connected to Google+. This is an interesting move by Google.

What It Means

Basically, if you find a restaurant you like, and let Google know about it, all your friends in your circles are told about it. This is a powerful Social signal for business owners, and providing a good experience will spread their influence far and wide.

Reviews are fast becoming the lifeblood of the internet. That is why commenting and syndication are becoming significant in web site ranking and page rank. Now any registered Google+ use can leave a review for a business. As you get more and more reviews, your standing with Google increases and you rank higher.

Google Places used to use citations, or places on the internet where the name, address and phone number of the business appeared. Backlinks were not particularly useful. With Google+ this ahs changed. Sharing via your circles now influences the rating of the business. The more reviews and shared information, the higher the ranking.

What You Can Do

If you have a local business, setting up Google+ Local is the same as Google Places. Make sure you have keyword optimised categories, images, videos, and descriptions. Work on your website and optimize it as well. Add videos and articles and syndicate them.

If you are in the Local Search Marketing business, this is a great time to start collecting new clients. Now the game has changed, you can give them a compelling reason to switch.

One last thing. Reviews are important for local businesses. Typically people searching on the internet are looking for a reputable business. I work with software that optimises reviews and can provide any business owner with a better reputation through optimized reviews.

If you want to learn more about this area, you can visit http://localsearchgosford.com.au

I am really excited about the future as I move further into this area of Internet Marketing.

 

John Gaydon

Comments

  1. Hi John,

    Yes the new changes are a great opportunity for local business to reach out to there customers. There is no doubt we are all looking at references more and more before we do business. Thank you for sharing this update . take care Rosemary
    Rosemary O’Shaughnessy recently posted..Linkedin Tips For Your SME , Small Business and Why Use ItMy Profile

  2. Hey John

    Even though Google has moved Places over to Google+ the basics are the same.

    If you want to rank locally you still need relevant backlinks and social proof, ie reviews.

    John, are you doing Local Search Marketing for clients?
    Peter Fuller MBA recently posted..What You Are Doing Today Will Affect Your Retirement FreedomMy Profile

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