Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Helping people discover and share local businesses with Google+

When a business owner's hard work and passion are celebrated and shared by customers, a humble space can become more than just bricks and mortar, but a favorite spot, a local landmark, or a meaningful memory.

With the release of Google+ Local, rolling out today, we are bringing the community of Google+ to local business owners around the world. We aim to improve the way people discover new businesses, rediscover places they love, and share them with their friends across the web.

Simple experience for your customers
The first thing you’ll notice is the new layout and design for the listing for your business. All your basic business information is still available. And by streamlining the layout and putting more focus on photos and reviews, we hope to help you highlight what makes your business truly unique.


Helping people find, rate and share your business
With these updates, we’re connecting the millions of people on Google+ to local businesses around the world. With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review.

Integrated Zagat reviews
For years, Zagat has provided trustworthy, concise, user-generated reviews, and we are excited to bring these to Google+ Local. We’ve also updated our scoring system to Zagat’s time-tested 30-point scale, so that users can better share their view about what makes a place unique.

Continue to manage through Google Places for Business
If you are a business owner, you should continue to manage your information in Google Places for Business. You’ll still be able to verify your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews. For those who use AdWords Express, your ads will operate as normal as they’ll automatically redirect people to the destination you selected, or your current listing.

More changes coming soon for business owners
We know many of you have already created a Google+ Page for your business, and have been hosting hangouts and sharing photos, videos and posts. We’re excited that we’ll soon extend these social experiences to more local Google+ pages in the weeks and months ahead. To give you a sense of what’s coming, we've worked with a few business owners to fully upgrade their listings early and share their Google+ business identity across Search, Maps and Mobile.

If you don’t yet have a Google+ Page for your business, we encourage you to create one now. And if you do already have one, hold tight for news on how to get it linked to your local listing. Follow our blog, or our Google+ page, for additional updates.

Posted by Jen Fitzpatrick, VP Engineering

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