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Goodbye Google Places, Hello Google+ Local

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google-places-now-google-plus-local
This past week, while I was on a much needed vacation in Turks & Caicos, Google dropped a bomb in the SoLoMo (social-local-mobile) world.  On May 30th Google Places became Google+ Local (by the way, it’s taking me some time to find the “+” symbol on my keyboard- ugh).

Not that it was a total surprise that Google made the move.  If you’re a dentist who has any experience with Google Places, you know how frustrating it can be to manage your Places page.  Many top experts in the solomo world suspected that Places would somehow sync with Google+ Business Pages… but we never knew when Google would pull the trigger.  To clarify- the

Google Places vs. Google+ Local, What’s the Difference?

I made a side by side comparison of screenshots of a Google Places Page vs. the new Google+ Local page.  As you can see, for the most part, it’s just an esthetic change to fit the Google+ design.

Google-Plus-vs-Places-300x173

Google’s FAQs- Read Them!

In addition to the facelift, there are some other changes including ratings, posting requirements and few other things.  I highly recommend reading the Google+ Local FAQ section!  Reading this will answer any questions you have.  Here are a few snippets-

  1. I already have a Google+ page, and now my Place page has been upgraded to this local Google+ page. How do I bring the two together, so that I have just one page?
    The short answer is, you can’t merge the two right now. But believe me, we’re working on that. So to be very clear here: We will we be combining these two pages, so that you will only have to manage one listing — basic information, social features and all — across Google. Please give us time to get there — we’ll keep you posted every step of the way. For now, keep managing your pages as is from the two separate dashboards (Google Places and Google+)
  2. What’s the difference between a Google+ page and the local Google+ page?
    A Google+ page has all the social features available to Google+ users — Hangouts, sharing to circles, video uploads, etc. A local Google+ page is just a new look to the Google Places listing, minus the social features. Those social features are coming soon, as I mention in my original post above. And as I also said, we know it’s not ideal needing to manage two separate pages.
  3. Can you explain this Zagat scoring system?
    Indeed I can. We have a great Help article on this very feature.

To learn more about future changes and discoveries, be sure to come back!

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