Google+ Local = An Upgraded Places Page

map pinSince Google announced the integration of Place pages and Plus, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about what this really meant, how businesses could connect the two, etc. The main point to understand is that business owners can still edit their business listing through the Place pages interface. Through Google+ local, customers can now rate, review, and add photos. Basically, Places just got a social upgrade.

google plus local for customers

Google spells all of this out in their support pages:

“Now when users search for your business, instead of seeing a Place page, they’ll go to to a local Google+ page. Information you manage in Google Places for Business — like your business’s website, location, and hours — will appear on the Google+ page. If you need to revise any information, just sign in to Google Places for Business and make edits like you normally would. These changes will update the Google+ page for your business.”

Seems pretty simple; however, the change has still confused quite a few.  Two Google+ pages might now show up for every business. Google also cleared the air on how to tell them apart:

“Currently, you may see two types of pages on Google for a single business. These pages will either be similar to a Place page with scores and reviews, or they will be Google+ pages with social features. You can distinguish the pages by the features available.

If below the cover photo you only see the tabs for About and Photos, a Manage this place button when you scroll down, and scores and reviews, then it’s a local listing (an upgrade from the old Place page). When local listings appear on Google Maps or in Google Search, clicking on more info or on Google reviews will take you to this type of page.

Some businesses may have also created a page themselves using Google+. You can identify this type of page if there are tabs for Posts, About, Photos, and Videos, but there isn’t the option to leave a review.

When these pages are combined, they will appear with a verified checkmark and have features of both pages described above with scores and reviews as well as posts from the business owner.”

Any transitory confusion is no doubt worth it for Google, though, considering that removing the old Place pages and sifting more people around in Google+ will probably cause more people to sign up, rate, and review.

Just one more step in Google’s efforts to dominate search and social!