I guess you heard right? Yeah, that’s right, the Google+ epidemic has claimed it’s latest victim in the shape of the treasured (and often spammed to death) Google Places. I jest of course (not about the spamming), on the face of it the newly branded Google+ Local looks pretty good and in reality everybody has been waiting for this to happen since the launch of G+ some months ago.
Google+ Local has been launched for about a week now and as is always the case when “The Big G” launches anything new there has been a flurry of activity in the blogsphere as every man and his dog tries to catch some traffic on the coat tails of the announcement. If you’ve been out of the loop for the last 7 days (or just been doing something else, like work or something) here’s a run down of the Google+ Local “Best Bits”…
30th May – Official Google Blog
Google announced the official rolling out of Google+ Local over on their blog citing Zagat scores and a simpler integrated interface as the real big big selling points.
- Local information integrated across Google
- Better decisions with Zagat
- Recommendations and reviews from people you know and trust
30th May – YouTube
To accompany the blog announcement Google put together this short, slick video giving a quick run down of how the new Google+ integration will look and feel.
30th May – Search Engine Land
As usual hot on the heels of any major Google announcement Search Engine Land followed up with a piece rightly pointing out that this is less of a shock, more of a “What took you so long?” announcement, they had already been discussed on the blog almost 12 months earlier no less. SEL point to a number of new functions and features (in much more detail than the official Google posting), they do a great job of getting “down and dirty” with the product just a few short hours after launch.
- The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages (as mentioned) for Google Places pages
- The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
- The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews (its entire archive across categories)
- The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)
- Integration of a circles filter to find reviews/recommendations from friends/family/colleagues
30th May -David Mihm
I really like the description of this article as “a poke around” the new Local+ (I’m soooo bored of typing Google+ Local already) interface and that’s exactly what this is. As the post unfolds there are various additions, deletions, amendments as the picture becomes clearer just how this whole thing works.
More articles should be done like this.
31st May – Elevate Local
Yousaf dropped 2 great posts on the same day over on the Elevate Local blog the day following Google’s announcement. First of all for those people who’ve not yet created a local page (yes, they exist) he popped up a quick 10 step guide to creating a local page for your business, I’ve already sent it to a new client in fact. Next he very kindly runs through the best features of the new Google+ Local platform:
- Consolidated Editing and Reporting
- Page Managers
- Transferring Ownership
- Review a business AS a business
- Responding to Reviews
- Review Scores
31st May – Blumenthals
Got a question about Google+ local? Well I sure had, and I was pleasantly surprised that a couple of them had already been answered by Mike. This post includes 27 (if I’m counting correctly!) questions and excellent answers.
31st May – Portent
George Frietag waves a fond farewell to Google Places in this article and as luck would have it the guys over at Portent are currently packing up their worldly goods, meaning they need to update their listing. This post gives the top 5 things they’ve noticed, and which business owners need to be looking out for.
1st June – Local SEO Guide
I was keeping an eye out for Andrew’s first post on Local+ and it did not disappoint. If you’re going to start a post with a video of Ghost Town by The Specials then you’ve hooked me already, I’m all in. (I’m listening to it again as I write this.) The post wasn’t as quick out of the blocks as some of the others already mentioned above so the focus was more on the strategy behind the move to migrate Places to Local+.
I’m not a big fan of “Funky Town” by the way.
4th June – Blumenthals
Mike was back a few days later to pour cold water over the Local+ launch an reviled a substantial list of bugs which are likely to annoy a few folk no doubt. Mike also looked a little into the potential direction of the new product with the likes of Punchd and Talkbin looking likely to be incorporated with Zagat at some point. Really interesting to see that this is just a very small step in the larger plan for Google to dominate the local advertising market.
So that’s it, my essential Google+ Local reading over the past week. I’ve got a few hours booked in to look at listings later this week to look at some of our clients listings and I’m really looking forward to it. Let me know your experiences guys
Post by Gaz Copeland