Google Places is Over Say Hi to Google Local
For all those waiting for Google Places to be integrated with Google+, it has finally happened. However Google has decided to completely replace Google Places with Google+ Local this time. Now that Google Places is over, it is good news for local businesses who are constantly trying to reach out to prospective customers. Read on to find out how it will help the local businessman as well as end consumer seeking services online.
How Everything Changes Once Google Places is Over
As you read this, more than 80 million pages of Google Places are already being swapped with Google+ Local pages. Google Places is over and for the good. It is transformed into something much better and useful. We’ve consolidated a list of changes which the users will see and admire about Google+ Local.
More dynamic and interactive
The new Google+ Local is more user friendly and interactive than its former counterpart Google Places. Apart from driving directions, Google+ local also displays pictures and more extensive information on a single page than was possible with Google Places. It also lets business owners to generate a following and be able to message their followers for offers and discounts. This was a limitation with Google Places. Google+ Pages will enable users to interact in a manner similar to Facebook or Twitter.
Google’s star based ratings are also done away with. It has been substituted with 30 point scale ratings from Zagat. Zagat ratings are far more reliable than five-star ratings because Zagat scale provides separate score for food, ambience and service. A greater 30 point scale also averts the tendency of marking 3.5 stars for everything.
Finer Search Options
Another improvement to see when Google Places is over is the radical search tab which includes two search boxes – One for place and other for location (street, city, state). This option greatly narrows down your search to only those places relevant to your location preference. You can also choose variables such as popular, recommended or social content which further thin slices your search.
How to Access Google+ Local once Google Places is Over?
Once Google Places is over, users will be able to access Google+ Local in multiple ways. If you have a Google+ account, you can fully utilize Google+ Local by simply clicking on the Local tab on your home page. Moreover, you can filter and sort content by “circles” which lets you know about places already visited by friends in your different circles. Even if you are not a Google+ user, you can access Google+ Local in your regular Google.com search or Google maps. Users are not forced to use Google+ to access new content, though the user experience is far richer if Google+ is the gateway to Local search.
The new improved version of Google places is here. Now officially, Google Places is over. With new Google+ Local, both marketers as well as consumers are at an advantage. Though, the initial hiccups will be there for business owners who have been using Google Places for quite some time now, it will be smooth sailing with little adjustments and a small learning curve.