What the Google+ and Google Places Merge Means To You

What the Google+ and Google Places Merge Means To You

Google Places and Google+ Merge
Google Places and Google+ Merge

*Disclaimer – If you absolutely must tinker with your Google+ Local page right now – check out this little write up. I think we should all hold tight for a while to see what happens while a lot of the kinks are worked out so things don’t get really screwy. Anyway, if you are one of those kind of people that cant help but mess around with stuff – Check out this post first for a little help.

We started getting a lot of questions from other marketers, as well as clients we work with on the recent changes with Google+.  We felt it would be a pretty good idea to just write up an answer to point people to.  We hope this helps.

Big changes are happening online and we are here to inform you of what is going on. Google Places has merged with Google+. What does that mean for you and your business? We’ve broken it down so that you can understand what will be going on with the way your business receives reviews online from now on and how you will be rated.

If you receive 3rd party reviews for your business you can no longer receive them directly on your place page. Now an individual must use Google+ in order to leave a review. The idea is that the review system becomes a more social (or some might say Google is forcing social), versatile, and interactive system.

The main difference in the review process is the new rating system. Instead of a 1-5 star rating, individuals will use the ZAGAT rating system. The ZAGAT system uses a 30-point scale. These points are based on multiple areas for a business like food, décor, cost, and customer service. There is space provided for a brief paragraph to be written by the business owner, and several quotes will be pulled to use from different customer reviews in that area.

This merger comes as no surprise and has been anticipated since Google+’s birth. As of May 30th of this year, 80 million Google Place pages through out the world were converted to Google+ Local pages. Your searches will still appear the same as before, and it’s not more difficult for an individual to leave a review for your business either. Just as before, individuals will need to get a Google account in order to leave a review.

The good news is that provided you have both a Google Places and a Google + page, Google will at some point merge the two automatically and therefore you don’t have to do anything.
If you don’t have a Google+ page for your business or you simply can’t wait for the merger, you can create a Google+ page or login to your existing page, and then claim your new “local” page on Google +.  (Note: You will also need to start encouraging your clients and customers to leave company reviews on the new Google + page and send them to the Google + URL rather than the old Google Places URL)

Take these steps to create your new page on Google+:

  • First, you will need to log in to Google+.
  • Next, upload an image of your correct logo, or an image of your business.
  • Then, once you have adjusted your new page, the map for your business will be added.
  • Write your review in the paragraph space provided under the icon “edit your review.”

Below is an instructional image of how to adjust your new place page.

Google+ and Google Places Integration

If you have any further questions we are here to give you answers and make this process as simple and stress free as we can. Please let us know what we can do for you.