Google+ Local, Part 2

What Is Different?

You can still list your business for free by going to Google.com/Places. On the Google Places page you will see the option ‘Choose the right places with Google + and Zagat’ right above the description ‘Reviews from people you know and scores and summaries from Zagat’. Right below there is a box ‘Explore Google + Local’. The same button appears on the top right portions of the Google+ page as a sub tab. Clicking this button brings you to your Google+ page with your default local listing.

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In the column to the left you now see the “New Local” icon. This icon can be up or down if you prefer a different location than where it appears.

On the top of your Google + page will be a listing along with its map review based on your past search activities. A restaurant may show there if you have recently searched for a place to eat.

The New Local Business Page Display

Clicking on the displayed businesses from your Google Local page will take you to the business’ Google Local page. There you can view their Zagat ratings, select the ‘About’ button and read their information, view their photos, see their map and write a review of your own. Below the map will be listed the location of the nearest mass transit station in relation to your business such as a train station or a bus stop. Below that will be the ‘Directions’ icon where people can get the specific directions to your place of business from their actual location. A ‘+l’, ‘Share’ or ‘Upload a public photo’ options are also available.

You can also ‘Edit business details’ (even if you are not the business owner) to include things you know such as if the location of the business has changed or if the business has closed down. Or even ‘Make a free reservation’.

For those familiar with Google Places, you will see some changes, the first being that you are now going to be on the Google+ pages as opposed to the Google Places page. All the listings will contain the ‘Zagat’ icon next to the map review of the business listed. Next to it is a variety of score ratings pertaining to the company displayed dealing with food, decor, service and average cost.

At the bottom of the Zagat description, there is a list of the main keywords related to the business from the Google search engines. Below all these things you will notice the old Google format showing the number of reviews and additional information about the business. The search feature on Google + Local is based on two criteria: keyword and location. Google uses your IP location if you do not specify one when performing a search.

The most helpful reviews are listed at the top and at the bottom of these reviews you can see other ratings for similar businesses as the one previously listed.

The actual items reviewed and rated will be specific to the type of business being displayed on the Google + page. Previously these reviews only reflected Google Local but now they are integrated with Zagat to form the new Google + Local reviews.

The last item at the bottom right is the ‘Is This Your Business?’ tab framed in orange with the inscription ‘Manage This Page’.

This tab enables a person to “claim” their Google Local listing. Just because a person has a Google+ page doesn’t mean that the listing for their Google Local page has been claimed. If you can claim the listing through the email account associated with it you will have the ability to manage the page independently from the corresponding Google + page.

Also, centrally located below the pages main image will appear the hyper-links (if the page was claimed and the accounts added) to all of the social media profiles that the business has such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.

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