Atlanta SEO Company, Interactive Search Marketing, knows that when Google starts playing around behind the scenes, business owners get nervous and with good reason. If you are in business right now you have spent time improving your online reputation, and becoming as prominent as possible in the search engines. It is just the cost of doing business these days and no one wants to hear about a change that might damage all their hard work.
The good news is that there is nothing to fear just yet. Essentially Google has gotten rid of their local search pages called Google Places and replaced it with Google+ Local. They are working on taking all of the existing Places pages and converting them into Google+ Local pages so the business owner does not have to request the conversion, it is automatic.
For the moment, Google says that the change will not have an effect on local search but that doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. In fact, it is a pretty sure bet that the new pages will become a major factor in local searches. One of the biggest changes that they have made to the process is the introduction of Zagat reviews. On the previous Google Places pages everyone utilized a five star rating for a company. The new pages will use a zero to thirty Zagat rating that has been integrated directly with Google+ Local.
Business owners have a lot of questions about the recent changes and we will address a few of the most common ones below to help clarify some issues.
- How do you verify your Google+ Local profile? If you have already claimed your business through Google Places then you will not need to do so again under the new system. If you have not claimed your profile then you will do it the same way as you did with Places. At the moment there is no way to see if a business has been claimed or not but Google is supposed to implement a fix for that soon.
- What will happen if my company already has a Google+ page? Google is working to merge the Google Places pages with the existing Google+ pages so the integration is happening internally.
- How do we manage our Google+ Local profile? You will work through your regular Google Places interface like you always have.