Google Places Is Now Google Local

We think yesterday’s move by Google was a really smart one! The social network Google +, wasn’t really going anywhere trying to compete against Facebook, so what better way to jump start + than mashing together Google Places, with Google + so that we can all begin to do what were doing anyway and that’s influence eachother’s buying decisions with regards to small businesses! Voila Google Local is born. Let’s face it, in today’s online environments were all dropping breadcrumbs for one another that lead us to our favorite places and the favorite places of others. By putting the Google small business presence of Places smack dab in the middle of the social sharing revolution I believe it’s going to be just the thing to make Google + finally happen.

Let’s look at it. Google + local integrates Google maps and the social network Google +, add the ability to share images and comments helping us all to find our favorite local hangout places for shopping or meeting with friends. And if that weren’t enough, it’s still way more than that!

Using Google + local is a breeze, all you have to do is click on the new icon that shows up on the left-hand side of your plus page. If you haven’t set one up, well here’s another reason why now the time. You see, it begins showing you interesting places based upon where you are right off the bat. I love that.

Huge improvements over Google places now found in Google local

  • Zagat review scale because way beyond the old gold stars multiple categories from 0 to 30 points. brilliant
  • To search fields allowing a simple search for any type of place  in any specific location. Awesome

In this example I was searching for sushi restaurants in Boston within Google local

Upon clicking through to one of the results, I’m of course presented with a page dedicated to that specific result and this is where all the Google integrated services really begin to shine. Sure, most of the services were there in Google places but it just didn’t look as good, wasn’t as easy to navigate and didn’t include the social functions that now exist now that Google Places is Google local.

Google local page details

 

The new Google local is all about social

  • Not one but two invitations for me to upload my own photographs of this particular establishment
  • Of course the directions in Google map was always there but now it’s presented in an even more pleasing way in Google local
  • The reviews section with Zagat 0 to 30 scale in four categories makes it way more powerful to express what we liked and didn’t like.
  • The comments section feels more like a conversation just like in Facebook.

 

 

From a business owner’s point of view there is a gigantic opportunity to position yourself as a market leader using Google local that goes beyond the greatness of Google places. Your customers can now interact in real time about their experience in your establishment or with your product or service providing the social proof of your value that will drive business in your direction. If you’re not already participating in Google places and therefore in Google local as a small business owner, now is the time to establish yourself as a leader before your competitors beat you to it! Find out your present ranking for free in Google local using the form.