Here at Web Gnomes, we stay on top of the ever-changing world of Internet Marketing so you don’t have to. We enjoy learning new tricks of the trade and putting them to practice in the work that we do for our esteemed clients. Here is some of the most helpful Internet marketing info we came across this week:
Oh boy, this was an exciting week for Local Search. Google Places was replaced by Google+ Local!
Just like that.
Search Engine Land was one of the first sites to report on this change. Here is the summary they provided on the changes:
- The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages (as mentioned) for Google Places pages
- The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
- The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews (its entire archive across categories)
- The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)
- Integration of a circles filter to find reviews/recommendations from friends/family/colleagues
The good news is that management of your Google+ Local page is still the same – for now.
One of the local search gurus, David Mihm, provided some early observations on the new Google+ Local feature.
In this article, Mihm specifically investigates if there are any changes in ranking between Google+ Local and Google Maps. He indicates that in most cases, it’s the same.
I found only one outlier in my own searches (primarily to see how our clients were faring), where the top two results where switched in Google+ Local. However, the rest of the list was identical.
Mihm’s recommendations are as follows:
- Keep plowing full-speed ahead with your traditional Local SEO campaigns just as before
- Make sure that you claim both your Plus and Place pages
- Get your Plus page linked persistently from your website (much like your NAP info)
- Get a small amount of Google+ activity going immediately
- Message all existing customers with an @gmail.com address that you’re on Plus & you’d appreciate a follow
- Feather in some additional Google+ activity over time
We have long been encouraging social media-shy clients to at least sign up for Google+. Now it’s just going to be part of the basic prescription for local SEO.
When something big like this happens, a lot of people have a lot of questions. Thankfully, we have Mike Blumenthal who really takes time to answer questions from his readers.
I’m not going to regurgitate the article here, but here’s one interesting Q&A:
Can reviewers leave anonymous reviews?
No. At this point it is real names only.
How do you think this will change the game of reviews?
Since nobody has had the time to create an infographic for Google+ Local yet, we’ll leave you with a bright reminder that summer is here! I know I’m ready for vacation. How about you?Happy Saturday and enjoy the rest of your weekend!