Google Places Listings converted to Google+ Local pages, affecting an estimated 80 million business listings worldwide, according to Google’s Marissa Mayer.  The Google Businesses Plus Page described the release in a recent post as, “a new way to discover local information across Google.”  The Google+ Local pages will be accessible via Google.com and Google Map searches, or from a search using the Google+ Mobile App.   There is also new integration of the Zagat ratings system for restaurants and more, where consumer reviews from Google Places have converted from five star ratings to 1-30 point reviews that offer robust criteria to rate services, experience, décor, etc.  These reviews will cater personalized recommendations to Google+ users– sorting by circles to reveal reviews or check-ins from people in their network – and will appear in natural search results.

The streamlined design of the Google+ Local pages will include photos, a map of the location, and contact information for the business.  It will be important for business owners to find their new Google+ Local page listing, and click on the “manage page” button - located to the lower right - in order to update the page or interact with consumers by having “hangouts” and sharing updates.  This interaction is designed to produce a more loyal consumer base, and truly put “word-of-mouth” marketing to work online and offline.  As a preview, below are screenshots from the different views to expect when encountering the Google+ Local pages:

Google.com Search:

Google Maps Search:

Google+ Local Page:

Google+ Local Pages on the Mobile App:

Google+ Local pages will continue to integrate deeper within the social platform.  Features like mobile check-in deals - are expected to be released soon.   Do you have a business location that needs to be managed and optimized, or questions about participating in Google+?  Send those questions by clicking here, calling us at 800.787.0497, or submitting them in the comments below.