Google+ Local, Part 1

80 million online business owners signed into Google recently to discover that overnight they have become part of Google+ Local. If you have a Google Places account or you are a Local Business there is something you need to know. From now on whenever you think ‘Google Places’, you need to substitute the phrase with “Google+ Local”.

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What Do You Need To Know About Google + Local

Google Places has now been arbitrarily replaced with Google+ Local. This is part of Google’s ongoing evolution to develop the way social ratings and interaction systems are managed. It is an attempted to compete with Facebook and Apple. But it is more than this. Google has developed a way to integrate all of their platforms into a single seamless experience and to improve the way businesses are reviewed and rated on the web.

Their evolution started with Google Maps that allowed people to search for the places they wanted to go and directions on how to get there. From there Google Maps started adding local businesses. They added local business owners and their locations, eventually combining it with Google Places causing it to land in the top seven most popular business interaction sites available on the web. Now Google Places has been made obsolete by the new Google+ Local.

Why Is Google Making These Changes?

Just what is Google trying to accomplish with this new update? The design is to enable us to interact with those who are nearby making the experience all about “You”. Google is attempting to monitor and create viable, effective reviews of our online activities in such a way as to enable business owners to interact with the people who review them and with their friends and with those they email.

How It’s Put Together

Just how is Google making this happen? It boils down to two things: friends and reviews. Zagat existed on its own for quite a while before Google acquired it in 2011. Now Google’s new rating system is combined with Zagat to form their new rating system. They want you to see reviews from your friends, decide with Zagat how it’s listed and review your favorite places in order to give you the best possible search results, which are relevant to you.

Google has made these changes for a number of reasons that basically center on them becoming the wherewithal for searching for products, services and goods online. Their goal is to serve their end users: create more social integration, build a Google+ platform, better serve the local market and to keep us relevant in the ever changing realm of e-commerce and business consulting.

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