From Google Local to Google Plus Local
As many of you may have noticed and some may have heard, Google migrated (or is migrating) all Google Local/Places accounts to Google Plus. Google is doing everything they can to center their whole algorithm and internet users around Google Plus. As mentioned before, Google Plus is becoming the new core of Google’s search algorithm, replacing PageRank. For 2 reasons;
- This will help them identify which pages are best for ranking well on their search engine
- To compete directly with the coming strong Facebook (and FourSquare)
That being said, all business owners are now require to be more involved with Google Plus. This may seem like a dramatic change. But it isn’t. So far the only differences are;
- Google Local/Places Profiles are now hosted at Google Plus
- Google’s 5 Star Rating replaced with Zagat style rating system
- New Google Plus Formatted Local Profiles with options to share
- Searchers have to find businesses via Google Plus
- Users can comment and share Businesses in their circles
From a user standpoint, this is awesome. Now, when we want to write something up about a company, our friends and people in our circles can read our reviews. Now reviews aren’t being written just for company purposes. They are actually rants, raves, or recommendations about companies versus something behind the scenes. After all, our reputations are on the line now. Reviews written in the open associated with our social profile are much more honest than a review written anonymously.
So as you can see, the only thing that changed is now your business is focused around social media sharing. Additionally, since Google Plus is part of the algorithm, we can assume reviews, shares and comments will correlate with website/company rankings on Google’s search engine.
Merging Goolge Plus Business Page & Google Local Listing on Google Plus
The migration is still in process. As of now, the only major change is that your Google Local profile has moved to Google Plus. You still have a Google Plus Business Page and you now have to claim your Google Local Profile within Google Plus.
But any day now, Google will combine your (or give you the option to combine) your 2 Google Plus profiles (Google Local Page at Google Plus & Google Plus Business Profile). As of now you have a local business page with reviews and a Google Plus profile where you can share things socially on your wall. But expect real soon to see Google combining your wall shares and post with your business description and reviews.
Assuming Google Plus will continue to become the core of Google, it’d pay to get more proficient in using Google Plus and getting involved and others involved with your business online.