In November, Google responded to user feedback with a newly designed Google+. It’s streamlined and has an emphasis on communities and collections. The company rebuilt it across all mediums. So the site is consistent and easy to use on any format. However, your local business should continue to direct customers to Google Maps.
If you happen to visit a Google+ page today, you’ll see an option to check out the new Google+. The updated UI is simpler, faster and integrated across the web, iOS and Android.
Last month, we reported that Google was beginning to separate business listings from Google+ pages. This latest makeover to Google+ reinforces the fact that they are shifting their listings to maps. Your business should now be directing customers and clients to Google Maps business listings rather than your Google+ page.
Because the company recognized that most of the growth on the site was through Collections and Communities, Google+ now has a more social/community based feel. It doesn’t give users the option to write reviews, share, or post pictures on a local business page.
The new Google+ has yet to be fully promoted, and doesn’t show up in local search results. Although the company still gives the option to use the classic UI, it can be assumed that it will eventually be phased out. Google reviews, ratings and directions to a business listing still remain primarily on Google maps.
One minor change to a social media or review site can have a large impact on your overall SEO strategy. If you need help navigating, schedule a free demonstration with us. Chatmeter will show you how simple it can be to keep up with it all!
For months, Google has been making an effort to phase out the association between Google+ and Google Maps. Google+ pages don’t even appear in most search results anymore and listings are automatically pointed to Google Maps.
Google has recently made a significant change to its "places" review layout. Google is no longer displaying a mix of reviews from Google Maps users and reviews from other 3rd party online directories. Now, they are grouping all reviews from 3rd party online directories in a section called “Reviews from around the web” with just one review listed on each directory and a link to visit the directory to view more reviews about that particular business. Just below that, visitors can see reviews left specifically on Google Maps. This is a very significant change, which can affect both the consumer visiting the place page and the business owner who owns that page.
For consumers, it’s helpful because they are now showing the overall rating and number of reviews coming from, for example, Yelp, which was not included previously.
Google Maps, formerly Local Business Center, is offering a free 30 day trial for its local business advertising tags. The service helps your local business listing stand out by adding an eye-catching yellow tag that can allow your potential customers to print out a coupon. This offer expires July 23rd, so act fast or you may lose out on this opportunity.
David Mihm has done it once again and published another edition of Local Search Ranking Factors. This year David surveyed 32 local search geeks to get their takes on the top factors for ranking high in Google Maps. The entire set of results is well worth the time for any business that wants to do well in local search. For those of you who just want the goods without the verbiage, here are the top factors: