I had a client post a question after digging into their local search results and felt compelled to share. When big changes like this occur it’s important to get the word out:
“just noticed Google added some wording and a link underneath their search box. It says New! “Google+ Local. Discover places with the help of people you know.” Looks like it goes to G+ business pages. What else do you know about this?”
The biggest thing for me about this is that I love the new rating system that goes well beyond the old 5 star system. There were so many businesses that wound up resting at 3.5 stars the way the ratings averaged out.
Another benefit to this is that by using the ratings of Zagat – from what I have seen thus far – is that the ratings are broken down based on service, food, personnel, etc. This gives customers the ability to really see where businesses shine.
From a business standpoint, this is a huge opportunity for connecting with your customers to discover where you can improve. Instead of seeing a stream of mediocre stars with the old rating system and hoping for a reasonable explanation in the comments, a business can really identify key areas and opportunities for improvement. A system like this is a marketers best friend.
I was never a huge fan of the old place pages with Google. There wasn’t a lot of room to provide value, and coming from a search engine giant that builds an algorithm around value it seemed rather contradictory. Now, with the replacement using G+ pages for businesses there’s a lot more that can go into it.
Rather brilliant on the part of Google as well, since it will naturally draw more people into using Google+ to connect and share.
There are some great articles available from industry heavies, here are a few links to check out for some more details on the new change to Google local listings.: