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Rolling With The SEO Punches: Evolution of Google+

posted Oct 10, 2012, 5:57 PM by David Khorram   [ updated Oct 10, 2012, 5:57 PM by Rafael Hernandez ]

by Guest Author on October 10, 2012 · 0 comments

in SEO,Social Media

Google plus businessWhen it comes to successfully marketing your business, search engine optimization is an integral piece of the puzzle. By maintaining an effective online marketing strategy that includes SEO you are ensuring that your website will rise to the top and stand out amongst your competitors.

So we all know the benefits of SEO, but the real secret is being able to adjust and roll with the punches. SEO is constantly fluctuating whether its changes in algorithms, tools, services, attitudes, etc. but the real secret sauce is in moving with flow or even staying ahead of the trends.

One such trend has been the revolution of Google Places to Google + Local and Google + Business. Recently Google replaced all Google Places pages with Google + Local with the intent of dominating the web with a revolutionary social media and search engine optimization one-two punch.  Eighty million pages of Google Places were converted to Google + causing business owners to scramble in order to update their online marketing strategy and take advantage of the advantages that Google + Local offers.

Merging the Google+ Pages

Google + Local pages offer an array of benefits that Google Places wasn’t able to offer. They are more visually appealing and provide more information overall. Much like social media, they allow for likes, messages and followers. Information from sites such as Zagat is also included so that visitors can access information about the site and the business. Users also have the ability to fill out a more detailed questionnaire and create full reviews for other visitors to see and read.

With the advent of Google + Local also came Google + Business which can be quite confusing, especially for business owners that created a page on Google + for their business when Google Local was replaced. When searching Google for a business, searchers will find links to a business’s Google + page which is a link to what was originally their Google Places page.

The Google + Business page is actually in a separate location. Google + Local is merely a new façade for Google Places, and includes features like maps and scoring reviews. Google + Business takes a Google + Local page to the next level with features such as posting, sharing, commenting, photos, hangouts, etc.

However, until recently business owners were unable to merge their Google + Local and Google + Business pages as they were considered two separate products. This meant that they had to manage two separate Google + profiles separately.  This recently changed with the advent of a process for integrating all Google listings including Google search, Google Maps, Google + Local and Google + Business with management from one central Google + admin section.

Integration currently involves the following steps outlined by

  • A verified business owner on Google Places for Business will still have to go through the postcard verification process again when the two profiles are merged.
  • In order to merge your Google+ Business page it has to be listed in the local business/place category. If you set yourself up as a brand page, you can’t merge it.
  • If you only have a Google+ Local Page (previously a Google Place Page) you won’t be able to take advantage of the upgraded Google + business experience. You need to have both a Local page and a Google+ Business page. So if you want to upgrade to take advantage of the new features, you’ll need to create a Business page.
  • Assuming you set up your Google+ Business page properly and you also have a Local page, the option to merge and verify is now available. If you didn’t set it up that way, Google should be continuing to roll out integration options in the future.

Despite the initial confusion, the benefits that the new Google + pages offer are sizable  Business owners can offer more information about their business to browsing would-be customers and searchers are able to get more information and a better feel for a potential business. Only by keeping up with the trends and rolling with the SEO punches can business owners fully take advantage of all the benefits SEO has to offer.

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