Just a couple of days ago, Google made the bold move of merging Google Places and Google Maps into their new social media platform Google Plus.
So why is this such big news for businesses? Well, pretty much every business had a page on Google Places whether they knew it or not, and with the announcement of Google+ Local those old Google Places pages are now more visible and more important than ever.
VP of engineering at Google, Jen Fitzpatrick wrote:
With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review.
Now millions of businesses from around the world have had their Google Places page converted to Google+ Local, they’ll have to keep a tighter control over what is written about them on Google’s social media platform Google+ by the 100 million members of that new online community.
Businesses now have a score next them which rates them depending on how their customers felt about their service or products, the hospitality industry in particular will have to keep a close eye on their profile due to Google’s $125 million acquisition of online ratings website Zagat, which they’ve integrated into Google+ Local. The new reviewing system includes a scoring tally from 1 to 30 (the higher the better) along with written comments from previous customers.
Needless to say, it’ll be the businesses that have fully filled out profiles and with more written about them that will be given precedence in Google’s latest service. It’s never been a more important time to make sure you’re taking advantage of what could be a great opportunity to get ahead online.