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Google+ Local – What is it?


For a long time, analysts throughout the industry have known that Google plus would incorporate a lot of other Google applications, and they have waited with bated breaths for Google places to be the first in line. Luckily they did not have to hold their breaths for too long as Google places is no more.

Google places and Google plus participated in a marriage of sorts, and the result was a beautiful and bouncing Google + Local. This young one is a chip of the old block as it still boasts a lot of the features that Google places had. However, it also has a lot of characteristics of Google plus, and it has put a social spin on the business application, thus bringing together the very best of these two worlds.

Mass Data Merge

The announcement was followed by what seemed as the complete annihilation of Google places, though it could also be seen as the taking over of the younger and more dynamic Google + Local. All the over eighty million Google Places pages were immediately replaced with some eighty million Google + Local pages. Therefore individuals who had Google Places pages do not have to worry as none of their content is lost. They will still be viewed and they can view others in the same way, though now they will have to use the social media network to do so.

Google + Social Network gets Local Tab

Google + also had a facelift as it welcomed its new son. The social network now has a Local tab where individuals can find all the Google + local pages. Here, individuals can be able to conduct searches of businesses that fit their keyword or that are within their area. It is a great place for businesses to get access to their clients, especially considering that the number of Google plus members is rising by the day.

Minor Tweaks

The Google + Local pages also includes the hours of operations in the additional information sector. This is a feature that was absent in a few areas in Google Places, and this goes to show that only improvements can be expected from the new Google+ Local.

Businesses rated using Zagat

Google Plus is a social network, and it was therefore expected that the way the businesses would be rated would change as well. The new business pages will be rated using the Zagat system which is one of Google’s acquisitions since 2011. All the ratings will be based on reviews by users, and they will give the business a rating between zero and three. The total ratings will be averaged and after that, they will be multiplied by ten in order to get the average score of the business out of thirty. Zero is very poor and thirty is extremely good rating for the business.

More voice to the consumer?

This rating system is based on the fact that consumers can be able to say more about their experience with the service and products of a business than a few critics. There is also a sorting feature in the reviews section where individuals can find all the information that they seek easily. They can easily search for a business depending on the lowest score, the most helpful or even the highest score. It will be very easy for users to rate a place as Google plus is a social network and most of the reviewers will be sourced from here.

The Business audience on Google+ will appreciate this product innovation

Google + Local will provide businesses with the chance to interact with their potential clients. Google Plus has a lot of members, and all these people do not merely spend their time talking about their cat, as is the case with other social networks. Google Plus has a lot of professionals who will be interested in finding out more about the businesses in their locality. Google + Local will make it easier for them to do this as they do not have to navigate away from the page to do this.

Product Evolution

Unlike its parent, Google Places, Google + Local is more dynamic and engaging. Businesses should therefore get themselves on Google plus fast for the chance to get access to millions of clients and to engage with them on a passionate and personal level. It is believed that the Google+ Business pages will be next in this merger, but this plane is yet to land and only time will tell.


David Cowling : Editor and Founder of SocialMediaNews.com.au. I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at david@socialmedianews.com.au











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