Goodbye Google Places, Hello Google+ Local – Important New Changes
A little over 1 year ago the Big “G” introduced Google+ & Google+ Pages for Business. Industry insiders have been anxiously anticipating the day when Big “G” would merge the Google Data/Locations with Google+ Local Pages for a more seamless answer. That day has finally arrived.
As of a few days ago, Google+ Places pages have been completely converted to the Google+ Local pages. Inceva believes this is a major change that ALL SME’s and Start-ups in Thailand need to pay attention to. An estimated 80 million Google places pages worldwide have been automatically converted into ~80 million Google+ Local pages. This is a dramatic shift (although much better) but it will undoubtedly confuse some marketing managers and company owners.
Here is a brief Overview of the Recently Implemented Changes
• The substitution to the new Google+ Local pages (as talked about) for Google Locations pages
• The look of a “Local” tab inside your Google+ Account
• The very useful integration of the Zagat critiques across its entire archive for FREE!
• The integration of Google+ Local pages across all Google properties (Google search, Google Maps, Google mobile Marketing)
• Integration of the circles feature to locate dynamically located reviews/recommendations from friends/family/colleagues based on your physical location.
•Google’s existing star rating system is replaced by the much more precise Zagat 30-point rating system.
Below is an example Google.co.th Search Engine result for “Italian Food in Bangkok”
Notice the Map on the Right and the Zagat Reviews where the Stars used to be.
These are the primary modifications that Google has created within the fabric of “Local”. Google local hopes these new changes improve the search experience. Individuals will probably be in a position to fully utilize Google and all its free resources such as the exclusive Zagat rating system. Google+ local results are not limited to Google+ members. Anyone can access the new local features using the search engine.
Google also hopes that millions of small, medium enterprise merchants and start-ups in Thailand will make use of the enhanced dynamic pages and fill their local pages with content/ materials that can bring new users while achieving a much higher engagement to the overall Google+ ecosystem . Only time will tell…
SME,Start-up and small business owners will likely have a challenging transition just like most customers, but ignoring the company that provides over 80% of all search in Thailand will likely lead to failure. Why not give your product and service the best chance to survive and thrive?
For more information about Google+ Local or Google+ for Business. Please contact us.