Where we share our insights about all things web design, development, and marketing.


Hello Google+ Local, Goodbye Google Places


Have you noticed the changes in Google Places? 

We told you before to make sure you get your Google Places listing  (Google Places info), to help your business show up higher in the search listings for local search. We told you to make sure you had control of your Google + Business Page. We hope you took note.

Google has done away with the regular Google Places pages and has fully integrated them with Google+ through Google Local. 

Here is what has changed- (in a nutshell)

1. The appearance of the listing is different. 

2. Google has replaced its star ratings with Zagat reviews rating scale.

3. The integration of Google + circles, reviews, and ratings.

So, why don’t we take a minute and look into a few of these and talk about what they mean for your business.

The appearance of the listing is different.

If you take a look at the screenshots below, you will see the first shows a search done without being signed into Google +. The first thing you will notice is the big red button saying Join Google+.  It still shows the basic info on the local listing: logo, address & contact info, what type of business, about the business, the Zagat score, and the reviews. You even have a link for directions, and a quick link to write a review. So pretty basic info and exactly what you would expect on a local listing. 




Now sign in to your Google account. – (if you don’t have one get one now its simple)



Once you log in the differences you see are the reasons behind the change from the plain old Google Places listing to the new enhanced Google+ Local. These changes are directed at the user so they can “share” more information with their circles. You have your basic Google + navigation along the left hand side- Home, Profile, Explore, Hangouts, Photos, Circles, Local, Games and more.  I can still see the logo, address, type of business, about the business, the Zagat score, the reviews, a link to write a review, and directions. But wait… I have more options. I can now +1 the page, share the page, and upload a public photo. That is right, as the user I have more control on how I can share information and my interaction with your business. 

So why does it matter?

Did you know that I can also search for restaurants in Google + and see a full list of where my circle of friends like to eat and why?  Well, I don’t know about you but I like to go where my friends go.  

Plus, and here is the biggie- Google + local pages will be INDEXED!!! Meaning there is a lot more potential for SEO. 

So in the end, if you have been trying to hold out and not get into the “social” aspect of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and all other social networking sites out and about, Google is officially forcing your hand. That’s right; even if you don’t have a Google Places or Google + page it will be created automatically for you. If you have been using Google + for your business you will be greatly rewarded, so don’t wait – get started now or call us for more info on how to get started. 


Google+ for Business

Among all the trends in the world of social media, the newest, and quickest growing, is Google+ for businesses. So, why should your company worry with setting up a Google+ Business page?  Isn’t it just one of many on the ever-growing list of social outlets?  Yes, it is—but it’s different, and is set apart from the others.

Unlike other social outlets, Google+, in its new-born state for business usage, is taking a very innovative perspective that other similar setups have not.  Google+ is interactive in seeking out suggestions and requests for features and functionality from users.  And here’s the kicker—these requests and suggestions are not only being listened to, but acted upon, by Google!  The ability to offer feedback, to help drive this outlet towards what works best and easiest by users is  not the usual take for social media options.  This is really just the icing on the cake, though.  Google+ has much more to offer businesses than just curiosity at what they want.

Google+ offers organized interaction.  Business pages can create circles for specific consumer demographics, target groups, and contacts.  What is the true impact of this?  Well, you can stream, create hangouts, and run specials to your organized and specialized groups, on your terms.  You have the ability to appeal specifically to your target market of contacts in circle A, and then stream an entirely different promo to the group in circle B.  The ability to target specific groups, with business information and appeals specifically created for them, adds a depth to this outlet that is lacking from the others.

Additionally, Google+ features sharing options by means of the +1 button, which can be on any website, regardless of participation in Google+; but proves most beneficial to those with a Business + account.  The more people who +1 your streams, images, information, etc., the more others in other circles see your business’ impact.  This relates to word-of-mouth spreading, much like Facebook “likes”, but that is visible in search engine results.

Like other social outlets, there is a Google+ “badge” that can be added to your website icons to connect viewers directly to your Business+ page.  While this newest option in the world of social media is similar to the other selections, each does carry with it very distinctive benefits and perks that the competition does not offer.  Until you give them a try, you never know which will fulfill your business needs best.  Happy and loyal consumers are those that have businesses catering to them, interacting with them, and connecting with them in a fun, friendly, and consistent manner.


Are you using Google+ yet?

Google+ the next big thing in social networking, have you joined yet? Well we just did today after waiting on a list and trying to keep up with all of the news and changes and testing they have been going through. It appears at first glance to have some nice features tied to it, specifically the circles. These circles are more or less your circle of friends, or can be circleS of friends, because you can create and name them however you like. This feature is supposed to give you the ability to share only certain pictures with certain specified circles the same goes for your new posts, videos etc. I have to say supposed to because we have not tested it out too much yet, and until tested we are not really that comfortable telling you all what it will and will not do. Right now we are trying to grow our circles and learn more about the sparks and hangouts.

Is it important for you to get involved with Google+, well sure, why not take the time? Everyone is excited and wanting to learn more about social networking, wondering what is the NEXT big thing? Well this may be it, it may be a good competitor for Facebook, or it may just be another option, so why not join?

If you do look me up and we can test it out together! (kywebgal{@}gmail.com)