The change will result in more usable and individually tailored local searches for users, and makes your firm’s search presence a lot more social.
It also offers a big boost to SEO for business owners who embrace these dynamic pages, since Google intends to index the new Local pages. Searchengineland thoroughly examines the changes and what they might mean for your firm in this online article. Here’s a glance at how it works:
- Google+ Local tab will appear on a user’s page, right under the Games button. Clicking the Local tab results in recommendations that are specific to the user. Google+ leverages social proof in selecting the content that appears, taking care to see that rankings and reviews by members of a user’s Circles appear alongside others selected from the entire Zagat database. Users can use filters to search not only for specific businesses or types and locations, but also for reviews based solely on the experience of their friends and acquaintances.
- Zagat 30-point ratings system. In place of Google’s star system for rating businesses, Local depends on Zagat restaurant reviews and rankings. When making a review, participants can rate different elements like service, price, atmosphere etc. separately for a more informative result that is likely to highlight differences between establishments better than the star system.
- The social angle. Local place pages will be far more dynamic and interactive than the older Place pages. Business owners are able to interact directly with users on these pages, as well as add all kinds of content. The ability to add followers and message them, provide updates, add video and other dynamic content creates an online presence opportunity for your firm that matches the functionality and appeal of Facebook or other social platforms.
- Full Google integration. Local pages are accessible through Google Maps, regular Google searches, Google+ searches and mobile apps for Android. As of May 30, your firm’s Place page along with all 80 million others is officially a Google+ Local page. The pages have been moved whether or not anyone claimed the Google Place entries for a business.
Though the change is official, full Google+ Local functionality will be added incrementally. Google says “Today is just the first step, and you’ll see more updates in the coming months. If you’re a business owner, you can continue to manage your local listing information via Google Places for Business. Soon we’ll make it even easier for business owners to manage their listings on Google and to take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ pages. Get more information on our Google and Your Business Blog.”
What’s the upshot of all this change? It’s too early to tell for sure, but one good guess is that it’s in a business owner’s best interest to learn how to fully utilize Google+.