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    22nd June 2012

Google Places versus Google Plus

One thing that is guaranteed in life is the constant change in Google’s listing displays and the latest update at Google Places (Now called Google Plus Local Search) has caused some confusion for business owners. This article answers some of the questions we have been receiving and feel free to ask any questions on this popular topic.

Q. Why have the review stars gone from Google?

A. The recent changes mentioned above affect the  company review process in Google Places (now called Google local) .Google has changed the all familiar 5 star review process into new system that takes off page optimisation and combines this with Google Plus (and Google Places) reviews to give a total  score out of 30. This new system came from the US based “Zagat” Restaurant Review Service that Google purchased in November last year and decided to roll out. Google index citations from web directories, popular industry based forums etc to give an over all score. The system allows comments on service, staff etc making it more helpful to customers reviewing the business.

Q. How does a client give my business a review?

A. All reviews are now done through Google Plus (the new social media platform from Google) so in order for your client to give you a review they must have a Google account (This is free and easy to set up). To see where you stand in Google plus click here


Q. Why has Google changed the local business pages?

A. This is  the much awaited big push from Google to drive people to use their social media platform “Google plus”  push for  companies to use Google Plus Business pages as well as or instead of facebook.  Currently the changes are in mid flight (Late June 2012) as shown in the image below. The results currently display both review systems while the new system is rolled out.

Q. Are the local pages (Google Plus) system still relevant for mobile use and mobile searches?

A. Yes absolutely and as an extra benefit for companies when a user gives a review they can share it with their “circles” (Circles are a group of acquaintances, friends, work colleagues etc)  this giving your business more exposure. Information on how good or bad a local business is based on reviews left by their clients is totally transparent.

Q. How do I give a review for my favourite restaurant?

A. The process now is once you click on a local business listing you go straight to a Google plus page and to comment you must open a Google Plus Account .  Once you have made a comment it is then shared with your “circle”  and you can choose (unlike facebook) as to who gets to see it. The beauty with this system unlike Facebook is you can have one account and run your business, your friends, family, sports club, and other interests all independent of each other. With Facebook this is not possible and you will need a separate Facebook account for each segment of your life.

How do you stack up on Google? Discover how by clicking here*

(*update. Our new software is  live this week)

The new system shown. Note how half the listings are still on the old system as Google updates the data

Article by: Nigel Grimshaw-Jones - Creative Director

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