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Google Places Is Changing Again

Google likes to keep us on our toes. And by “us,” we mean everyone who uses Google, so that means… everyone.

Like Cher changing outfits six times in a show — let’s go with Lady Gaga, actually, to be a bit more current — Google is constantly twiddling with its platforms. (We might have to start publishing this newsletter weekly at this rate, just to keep up.)

It would be awfully nice to just get used to one thing and not worry about it for a while, but as the owner of a local small business, you need to keep up with what’s happening with your Google Places for Business page.

Ultimately, what Google is doing is trying to integrate everything more naturally with its Google+ (aka Google Plus) social network. So your new Google Places for Business dashboard is going to look a little different, if it doesn’t already.

The good news — and we’re so happy when we get to be the bearer of good news — is that Google appears to have done a good job with this update.

The new dashboard, for the most part, is clean and easy to understand. Google’s intention is to simplify the management and promotion of your business, and it’s largely done as solid job of that. The advantages to this new interface include:

  • The new system feeds directly into Google’s “knowledge graph” data structure, streamlining management of your site
  • Any changes you make will go live in about 48 hours
  • Many tips and tricks are provided on the dashboard to help you make smart decisions on how to promote your business
  • If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar business, you can still get a Google+ Local listing, but you can hide your physical address if desired

With all that said, Google is acknowledging that some kinks need to be worked out, so if your current Google Local listing is working just fine, don’t attempt to merge with the new Google Places listing just yet.

Google says that when the new system is all set, it will reach out to business owners and advise them to upgrade. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to hit up your Ring Ring Marketing representative.

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