There have been a lot of changes to Google Places over the years. One of the most noticeable changes over the last several months has been a move towards more integration with Google+. As of this morning, Google has announced Google+ Local. This is a major change that is only in its first phase. Right now the big changes are ones that the consumer experiences. Big changes that are going to affect the business owner are coming. Here is an announcement from Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager:
Wanted to give you guys a heads up on our launch today: Google+ Local. The big change is that we’ve given Google Places listings a whole new look. Beyond that, much is the same: You’ll still be able to manage your information via your Places dashboard, verifying basic listing data and responding to reviews. If you use AdWords Express, your ads will operate as normal, automatically redirecting people to the destination you selected or to the listing. Offers will continue to function as is too.
Some other changes I wanted to point out before you ask:
- Your verified Google Places listing will not display a checkmark on Google+ Local. Yes, we’re working on this.
- You can no longer upload videos or use the Post to Place page feature.
- We’ve adopted the Zagat scoring system (more on that here: http://goo.gl/JO7p1)
- Reviews from Google and Zagat users will live on your local Google+ page and attributed to “A Google User” or “A Zagat user” until the user chooses to attribute their name with the review.
You also don’t have access to all the social features of Google+ — yet. Soon we’ll make it even easier for you guys to take full advantage of Google+’s social features and manage your listings on Google, especially for those of you who have already verified your Google Place pages. Look for updates on that in the coming months.
I’ll post more as this major change develops.
For more insight check out the Official Google Blog