Friday, June 8, 2012

Help Desk Hangouts: Google+ Local

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we got an update on the new look and feel for Google Places, now Google+ Local. Local experts Dasha and Jade walk us through the redesign, what you need to know, and what’s coming next. They also answered your questions in real time. Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel.

Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

What does this change mean for how business owners add and edit their listings? Do business owners need to have a Google+ profile?
It’s business as usual on this front. Verified business owners can edit the listings (now local Google+ pages) through the Google Places for Business dashboard, as always. Business owners just now looking to get verified can go through the process by clicking on the Manage this page button under Is this your business? header on the right of the page. Right now, business owners do not need to have Google+ profiles to verify and edit local Google+ pages.

Will Google+ Local pages and existing Google+ pages be merged?
Yes! If you’re a business owner that’s got both the local Google+ page (formerly Google Places listing) and a Google+ page that you made in Google+ separately, the current recommendation is to continue managing each separately. The plan is to merge them, so business owners have just one page to manage. We did a few early, and you can take a peek from the Google and your Business blog. We’ll post updates as they come, here, but you can sign up for email updates using this form. Already convinced? You can sign up to be considered for an early upgrade.

Can I attach a YouTube channel to my page?
No, but this is a piece of feedback we’ve heard often and are actively discussing. Eventually, you’ll be able to add videos directly to your “Videos” tab and post YouTube clips to your page’s stream, but that will only be available once Google+ Local pages are merged with existing pages and given the social functionality described above.

Where can I report a problem or send feedback?
Send feedback about Google+ Local like feature requests, or reports if you think something’s broken, through the gear icon on the top right, clicking on Send feedback. On local Google+ pages, the Send feedback link is on the bottom of the right column, under the big photo of the business. You can report incorrect data about a place, like the wrong phone number, by clicking on Edit business details on that right column.

Can a business owner manage reviews and photos uploaded by users?
Be sure to join us for next week’s Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday May 2, when we discuss Business Photos for Google Maps. We’ll be taking questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.

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