Can’t find your places listing? Well that’s because Google moved all places listings to their new Google + Local platform read more here. This move forces small business to use Google +. Google + has been considered a huge flop by most. You can register for Google + here. When you login to your Google + account you will see new Local tab on left. It’s also intergrated to the maps.
Reviews are even more important
Reviews are a huge part of the new + listings. Google is using Zagat scoring. Learn more about what Zagat Score is and how it works here. One big complaint I have is that the Zagat system is meant for restaurants, not small businesses or other types of businesses. When you login to your new Local section in your + account you will see almost all restaurants. Why so skewed towards restaurants?
What about small businesses?
Well they are all forced over to the new platform, whether they like it or not. This reminds me of when Facebook forced businesses over to the new timeline. Out with the old and in with the new. I think Google is going to be adding paid local + listings shortly. These will be targeted to specific locations and types of visitors. When I moved my page over Google asked me if it was OK to share my info to better serve me ads. Hmm… Wonder why.
What about Local search?
You still have the maps with localized search, however, now it actually has a nice page. I do think the new look is a serious upgrade from the last one, however, I also think they might have copied Facebook’s new look a bit? What do you think see the screen shots below.
In a nutshell
I think this was a nice move by Google it should make updating and promoting your Google + Local business easier once the dust settles. Good job Google. I really dig the new upgrade.