June 2012 Changes To Google Places

Brendan Egan

June 2012 Changes To Google Places

One of the constant themes at Google in 2012 has been change.  So far this year we’ve seen more large changes than any other year in recent memory, and now it seems like change is sweeping across Google Places pages for local businesses.
Many people may have notice some small changes to places pages as they were recently integrated with Google Plus, which is Google’s social platform designed to compete with Facebook.  Perhaps the largest change that has rolled out as part of this update is the social integration of Google Plus features with Google Places.  Much like a Facebook business page, Google Places is now a more social environment allowing people to interact more with the business.

What Should I Be Doing With My New Page?

The best thing to do is to become active on Google Plus.  Many of our clients and many business owners are already very active on their Facebook business pages, posting content and interacting with the social community.  It’s now time to continue doing that on Facebook but also begin doing that on Google Plus as well.  Since your Places and Plus pages are now closely integrated, it’s critical to keep a close eye on them to gain the most value from this tool.
In addition to this, Google’s places pages and plus platform are extremely important for organic traffic.  While Facebook is a great platform, Google is the most utilized search engine in the world, and having a strong social presence on Google Plus is becoming more and more important for search results.  If Google sees you have a strong social following, strong level of interaction with customers/clients, and good reviews, there’s a very high chance your page will rank higher than your competitor who is doing nothing.

I Don’t Have Time For All This!

I understand.  It’s difficult to manage Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Google Plus, Youtube, and the dozens of other social sites out there.  Truthfully the most important, in our opinion, in order of importance at this given point in time are Facebook, Google Plus, Youtube, Pintrest, and Twitter.  I often tell my clients that if they can post content, even if it’s similar content, across those platforms then they’re in fantastic social media shape.
It can be difficult not only to keep up with the posting, but to also make sure you’re keeping up with changes on these platforms.  The internet and especially social media and SEO are changing at a lightning pace, so it’s important to find a trusted source, such as our blog, and check with it often to stay on top of updates and remain as educated as possible about online marketing for your small business.