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Yesterday Google announced that it was changing the name of Google Local to Google Places. If you’re interested in why Google doesn’t have a unique domain name – yet – for Google Places, you can read about that at Search Marketing Standard. It’s a good read.

But whether you think Google screwed up or hit a home run, this is an important step for all of us, especially local business. Google says that one in five searches are local so if you have a local business then you need to claim your business at Google Places. Don’t wait.

Here are some of the new features Google has added to Google Places:

  • Claim your own service area and hide your address
  • For select cities, you can add tags to your listing for $25
  • Add photos
  • Get custom QR codes
  • Join the Favorite Places program
  • Add real-time updates
  • Track your progress with your own personalized dashboard

Seriously, this looks like a good deal to me. Could Google have rolled it out in a more strategic manner? Yes. But that they’ve done this and done it now says a lot about how serious Google is about local search marketing. I chalk it up as a plus.

2 Responses to “Google Local Changes Name To Google Places”

  1. Thanks for the link on the Google Places post. I certainly agree that it’s a plus — it’s easy to sign up, free, and offers a great way to showcase your local business. I just hope they haven’t discouraged any business owners who assumed the logical domain name and then were turned off the program overall by finding it wasn’t Google at that spot. Worse — if they went there right after the announcement, it was still on the prior owner’s setup and was a page full of links that would be instant frustration. I just checked it now and it’s a Not Found page, which at least is an improvement. I’m sure in time, it will redirect to the proper spot.

  2. Thanks for the link on the Google Places post. I certainly agree that it’s a plus — it’s easy to sign up, free, and offers a great way to showcase your local business. I just hope they haven’t discouraged any business owners who assumed the logical domain name and then were turned off the program overall by finding it wasn’t Google at that spot. Worse — if they went there right after the announcement, it was still on the prior owner’s setup and was a page full of links that would be instant frustration. I just checked it now and it’s a Not Found page, which at least is an improvement. I’m sure in time, it will redirect to the proper spot.

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