Jun. 12, 2012
Google rolled out yet another update that drastically changed the way search engine users find businesses online. In late May of this year the search engine giant switched over 80 million business listings on Google Places to the newly developed Google+ Local platform. The move was driven by Bing’s partnership with Facebook to provide their search results on the social media site. Bing recently revised its format to include 3 columns of relevant information and added social components.
This change is drawing a ton of attention from SEO experts who are trying to comprehend the change and clarify the impact to business owners. The change is supposed to make it beneficial for users to find businesses online.
Google Places is now a thing of the past as Google replaced it with Google+ Local. This new development is part of Google’s overall plan to encourage interaction on their social network between consumers and business owners. The changes were announced on Wednesday May 30, 2012.
This comes as no new big news to Greg Sterling, contributing editor to Screenwerk. He argues that the merger between Google Places and Google Plus pages was anticipated ever since Google Plus and Google Plus pages were introduced in 2011.
Users are assured with optimism over the changes. Google promises that the new pages will be integrated into all Google properties, including Search Results pages, Google Maps, and Google Mobile. However, it remains to be seen if it will stay this way.
Paul Tassi (Forbes): Tassi contended that Google Plus was a ghost town and a dead project. Despite retracting the claim, Tassi argues that Google+ is still not the social network it needs to be. Google+ is merely a niche community and does not pose a significant threat to Facebook, an already well-established Social Media platform.
comScore Report: This report stipulated that users spend 3.3 minutes on Google plus, compared to an average of 7.5 hours on Facebook. comScore numbers also showed a downward trend for Google’s fledging social network. The usage figures were revealed in February of 2012 after Google trotted out impressive stats outlining Google+’s growth.
Local Tab: The search engine giant added a new tab on Google+ named Local. Users who utilize Google+ can click on the local tab to find a business or service they want to learn more information about. All searches are keyword based.
Google Circles: The biggest change to Google is the social integration of Google Circles. Local businesses are not just able to see their ratings amongst friends and contacts; they can also communicate with customers by sharing photos, videos and posts and are able to chat about their offerings in the hangout area.
Zagat Review: The search engine has recently replaced their star ratings with Zagat review. Zagat Review scores businesses between 0 and 30 and customer rates are scaled between 0 and 3. Zagat was acquired in September of 2011, but only now is integrated into the Google+ system.
Set Up Profile: The Google+ profile is where customers can find you and an area where you can share details regarding your products or services. You are permitted to add a cover picture to tell the world what you are interested in.
V. About: Wisdek Corp:
Since 1998, Wisdek Corp. has grown from a pioneer in a non-existent industry to a multinational corporation that is ranked amongst the top 30 SEO companies in Canada by top.seo.com. It provides Search Engine Optimization (SEO), PPC advertising, link building, content development, video marketing (VSEO), and ReMarketing services to business leaders and entrepreneurs across the world. Although its head office is located in Toronto, Wisdek Corp. retains offices in more than 10 countries.
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