Google Places changes to Google+ Local
Have you looked at your Google Place page today? If so you might have gotten a surprise: Google Places officially morphed into Google+ Local this morning.
Since Google+ launched brand pages almost a year ago it has been rumored (with good reason) that the next step was to integrate Google Places. As Google+ continues to fight for more adoption, particularly from businesses, streamlining the brand pages and map listings definitely makes sense.
So while I wholeheartedly agree that this is a great move, I am disappointed as usual in Google’s launch of their new product.
First it appears there are bugs; Google Maps has been crashing throughout the time I’ve been writing this post. When viewing Red Clay on a search page, clicking to show a map of our location instead gives the following message Error: The server could not complete your request. Try again in 30 seconds. (it’s been doing this for at least the past half hour). When I do a search on Google Maps it displays “loading” but never goes to results.
Second, the management of the map listings has not been addressed yet. When viewing your new page you can click a button to “manage this page”. But be warned, depending on what you do next you might end up in the old Google Places admin or you might end up in the Pages admin on Google+. Our Red Clay listing shows up in both places, although the listing has slightly different information in each place and changes made to either one do not show up on the actual Business listing.
So for now my personal recommendation would be to go ahead and check out your new page, but don’t jump in to make changes just yet. Give Google a few days to iron out the kinks so that when you do make edits they’re in the right place, tied to the right account, and show up on the right page!
For more info on the Google+ Local change check out the following article from SearchEngineLand: Google Places Is Over, Company Makes Google+ The Center Of Gravity For Local Search