Google has now integrated local business listings and maps into its social platform, Google+. Google Places is on the way out but the complete transition hasn’t happened quite yet. Google’s latest blog post says this:
If you are a business owner, you should continue to manage your information in Google Places for Business. You’ll still be able to verify your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews. If you don’t yet have a Google+ Page for your business, we encourage you to create one now. And if you do already have one, hold tight for news on how to get it linked to your local listing.
Once you create your Google+ Page for your business, your business can be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+. Zagat’s user generated reviews, using a 30 point rating scale, replace Google’s star ratings. The new layout and design put more focus on photos and reviews. Your local listing is no longer “set it and forget it.” You cannot allow your listing to get stale and you must take measures to encourage your customers to review your business. Who has the time for that? We do! We offer a local listings service and a customer review service. Contact us to ask us about our Local Listing Optimization Service