What You Need to Know About Google+ Local
Facebook and Google have made so many changes over the last 30 days, that it seems almost impossible to keep up!
We’ll bring you up to speed on Facebook in another post, for now, we’ll focus on the changes to Google Places.
The big change is that Google Places listings has a new look. Beyond that, almost everything is the same. You’ll still be able to manage your information via your Places dashboard, although we imagine this will change in the future, as Google has plans to integrate Google+ Local with Google+ accounts.
You do not need to do anything right now.
Some other interesting changes:
- Your verified Google Places listing will not display a checkmark on Google+ Local.
- You can no longer upload videos
- Reviews from Google and Zagat users will live on your Google+ Local page and be attributed to “A Google User” or “A Zagat user” until the user chooses to attribute their name with the review.
Here are some helpful FAQs from the Google Product Forum:
I already have a Google+ page, and now my Place page has been upgraded to this local Google+ page. How do I bring the two together, so that I have just one page?
The short answer is, you can’t merge the two right now. But believe me, we’re working on that. So to be very clear here: We will we be combining these two pages, so that you will only have to manage one listing — basic information, social features and all — across Google. Please give us time to get there — we’ll keep you posted every step of the way. For now, keep managing your pages as is from the two separate dashboards (Google Places and Google+)
What’s the difference between a Google+ page and the local Google+ page?
A Google+ page has all the social features available to Google+ users — Hangouts, sharing to circles, video uploads, etc. A local Google+ page is just a new look to the Google Places listing, minus the social features. Those social features are coming soon, as I mention in my original post above. And as I also said, we know it’s not ideal needing to manage two separate pages.
So will there eventually be only one page?
Yes, there will eventually only be just one page to manage, with information integrated across Google — Search, Maps, Google+, mobile.
se checkmarks on there, please sit tight.
Why am I still seeing the old Place page?
This launch was a slow roll out so we could make sure everything was running smoothly. Soon, you’ll only be seeing the new and improved local Google+ pages in our search results. Some old links to Place pages may work for a little while longer.
Why are my reviews out of chronological order?
Right above the first review, you’ll see a pulldown menu. The default is set to “Most helpful.” Select the pulldown and choose “Latest” to see them in chronological order.
What makes a review a “Most helpful” review?
When you sort the reviews by “Most helpful,” this takes into consideration many aspects of each review’s text and author, as well as feedback from users who vote on whether the review was helpful or not.
Do my customers need a Google+ account to leave a review?
Yes. Reviewers need to be logged in to Google+ to leave a review. The review will be public and attributed to their Google+ name.
Do I still have access to listing analytics?
Yes. Sign in to your Places dashboard and you’ll see historical metrics and activity from your Place page as well as new click and impression metrics on the local Google+ page that originated from Google.com and Google Maps. Metrics originating from within Google+ Local or from searches within Google+ Local won’t be displayed in the dashboard.
What about my ranking, does that change with this launch?
The Google+ Local launch was an interface and design change. But generally speaking, ranking algorithms are always changing, so listings are always moving up and down. There’s nothing specific to this launch, but the ranking of a listing a year ago is likely in a different spot now, and it will likely be in a different spot next year, or even next week!
Will Google be redirecting old Places URLs to the new Google+ URLs?
Keep in mind that we can’t guarantee that you’ll see a permanent URL from Google for any given page on our site. If you’re directing customers to your listing for reviews purposes, you might be better off asking them to search for the listing in any printed/permanent collateral you have.
If you have additional questions, shoot me an email.