Wait! What Happened to Google Place?
Just when everybody was getting the hang of Google Place local map optimization, Google went and moved it … though some users and business owners may not immediately notice the change. For the millions of people who have loved being able to click on the Google place map to close in on the businesses they’re searching and getting more detailed location information, things have changed a bit, and Google hopes it is a change that everybody will like. All of the Google Place locations have shifted over to Google Plus. That means that the information that was available before is still there, but has been enhanced to include social feedback from people in the internet searcher’s circle of social contacts, as well as added bonuses like Zagat reviews, which should provide a greater breadth of information than the previous five star ratings.
For users who are already searching via Google Plus, the difference is that now they have a Local tab on their page and access to more reviews from their inner circle. For business owners, it means that Google Plus should be an even bigger part of your social media marketing plan – it presents another opportunity for you to boost your relevance and rankings by optimizing your presence in social media. Google Plus gives users the opportunity to provide recommendations and referrals on individual businesses, so if you haven’t been encouraging your clients to like you and recommend you, whether on Facebook, Google Plus, or anywhere else, it’s time to get on it; social media search is becoming increasingly important.