Big news for local internet marketing - Google Places is being discontinued in favor of Google + Pages. There is some great coverage out there already, my favorite is from Greg Sterling and can be found here: http://www.screenwerk.com/2012/05/30/google-goes-social-local-turns-all-places-pages-into-google-local-pages/
Greg also posted links to some of the other great coverage online, which can be found at his post here: http://www.screenwerk.com/2012/05/30/roundup-of-useful-pieces-on-google-local-so-far/ I'll recreate the list below:
- Google +Local NAP Info Pulling From Mapmaker (not Places?)
- Rankings on Google+ Local: Some Observations
- The Coolest +Local Feature No One’s Noticed?
SIM Partners’ detailed overview and discussion:
Chris Silver Smith:
- Google+ Local Pages Delurk At Last (with bonus video of Marissa Mayer)
Google product forum discussion of business-focused page management questions:
- from Vanessa Schneider, Google community manager (scroll up and expand)
OK - so lots of changes are happening, but what exactly does this mean for the local marketer? While we're still watching this story develop, there are certainly a few key things we can see early:
- Google + just bumped to near the top of the list for social. If you're a local marketer (or brand advising local marketers) and have been avoiding G+ in favor of Facebook or Twitter, it's time to reconsider that strategy.
- Google continues to invest in local. Understand their priorities (consistent NAP, lots of citations) and deliver against them to win in local search.
Lots more to come soon!