Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world. Local businesses can claim or create their Place Page on Google through the Local Business Center, which enables them to verify and supplement their business information to include hours of operation, photos, videos, coupons, product offerings and more.
Google has changed the name of Local Business Center to Google Places. Here is an example of La Costa Uphostery’s Google Place.
All the major search engines (Yahoo, Bing, Google) have some type of alternative to Google Places. For my discussions you may see me using the term Local Business Listing – This is the general term for Search Engines aggregating a specific business’s information (what they sell, hours, reviews, etc) and allowing some form of control by the owner of the business, but not complete control.
Google’s Place Pages are primarily for local businesses, but they also provide useful information about cities, neighborhoods, points of interest, and mass transit stops. You can see a Place Page simply by going to Google Maps and entering in a search term. When the results come up, you’ll have several results with representative pins on the map. When you hover over a pin, a box will pop up and in that box is a ‘More Info’ link. That link takes you to the Place Page for that local business or location.
One out of every five searches is location related, but local search still represents a relatively small portion of Google’s revenues. Google wants local businesses to claim their Places pages (4 million have already done so- Have you?), update them and buy local search advertising.
Businesses can also add real-time updates to their Places page and define the areas they serve.
Below is a short video from Google explaining Google Places
There is power in using Google Places, but to make the most of it you need time and knowledge. If you have limited time and knowledge, contact me and let me help you.