Google Places was the way to go when it came to local searches on Google. Well, not anymore. As of now, Google + and Google Places have decided to merge to create Google+ Local. According to Todd Johnson of Australian Website Development, this is the future of local searches.Local searches are what make the difference between a deal and for many businesses. If your area of business specifically requires contacting clients in person, then local searches are definitely something to work for. Quite a lot of businesses had signed up for Google Places with the hopes of showing up on the searches done by local customers. However, yet more people, especially those who are familiar with the Search Engine Optimization Industry, were awaiting the day when Google's social network, Google + decided to merge with Google Places.
This is exactly what happened. Google + Local pages have now, officially replaced Google Places. According to Marissa Mayer of Google, it is a dramatic change. She added that although business owners may find themselves a tad confused, it is all definitely for the better.
The integration has many new features to offer. For starters, Google + will now have a 'local' tab integrated. In addition, users will also gain access to Zagat reviews ( a site for restaurant reviews). As for Google's star ratings, they are now replaced by Zagat's reviewing scale.
"What Google has done is quite simple" stated Todd Johnson of Australian Website Development. "With the integration of reviews and recommendations of people in your Google+ network showing up in the searches, more emphasis has been put in social media which makes up a great deal of what Google's latest update's main focus.". As of now, Google+ Local has set a standard where businesses have to earn a customer's good feedback via great service, keep up with social media as well as to practice quality SEO to make it to the local searches that will almost always lead to sales. And yes, this is a recommendation for you to get started on Google + Local as these pages are indexed by well, Google itself. If you haven't set up a Google Places profile, it is high time that you move on to Google + Local and keep things updated.
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