Last week Google announced that Google+ Business (a.k.a "Google Places") would be transitioned to Google+ Local, and I’m certain I’m not alone when I say that I had a feeling this was coming. Google, over the past couple weeks, has been making small changes that (whether they knew it or not) set those red flags a flyin’.
In one fell swoop, Google adapted all of its previous online location listings for millions of businesses, called Google Places, into Google+ Local pages. Google broke the news to business owners through a post on its Google and Your Business Blog:
“With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review,” wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, a VP of engineering at Google.
Google+ Local makes it simple for customers to share their opinions and photos as expressively as they would in real life. It’s now easier for customers to share reviews, images and more on Google Plus.
Here are the three big changes that businesses should be excited about:
- Reviews: a new scoring system has changed from the 1-5 stars rating to a 0-30 rating from Zagat, whom Google merged with last year. Customers can now score using multiple aspects instead of an overall rating.
- Location: customers can get directions to your location right on Google+ now. No need to go to two different locations to get the information they need. Customers can share their experience with your services and products and recommend your company to others – again directly on Google+. Business owners can also manage their old Google Places account right from their G+ account. Talk about convenient!
- Photo sharing: customers can upload and share your images or their own photos added to your page.
If you haven’t created a Google + business page for your business, now’s the time.