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Google Place Pages move to Google+

While we’ve been promoting the value in Google+ for a while now, if you’re a small business owner Google+ just became an essential tool for finding new business.  Google has just moved 80 million Google Place pages into a brand new section of Google+ called “Google+ Local” pages.  It’s roughly the same content, with some extra Zagat data tossed in there (Google purchased Zagat last year) but now it’s available inside of Google+.

In addition, they’ve now added a “Local” tab inside of Google+, so users can quickly search for local businesses while using Google+.

The three big things to know about this update are:

  1. These pages are now going to be indexed in the primary Google search results, while Place Pages weren’t.
  2. Users do not need to be members of Google+ in order to find these results
  3. Over time, these pages will have deeper Google+ integration (hangouts, photos, videos, etc).  They’ll soon be offering the ability to link your Google+ page to this new Google+ Local page, though that’s not possible yet.  For example, we have our normal Google+ Business page, but we also have this new Google+ Local page. Hopefully we can connect them soon.

So what do we do now?

If you don’t yet have a Google+ page for your business, create one now.  It works similarly to Facebook, where you need a personal profile in order to create a business page, so if you’re not yet on Google+ at all you’ll need to create your personal account first.

Also, if you haven’t claimed your Google Place page yet, find it and claim it (look for the “Business owner?” link in the top right corner of the page).

This is a massive change in how local searches behave on Google, and it’s a huge opportunity to climb to the top of your niche. For more about this change, check out the full write-up on the Google and Your Business blog, or read this nice overview from Search Engine Land.

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Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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