With the launch of Google+ Local it was immediately clear this was the end of Google Places as we know it. Updating your current Google Places page might be a useless bit of work so it seems, something we also discussed in yesterday’s hangout. You can however be one of the first to have both your Google+ Local and Places pages integrated, see below how. If you look in the search results it seems as if Google+ Local there already has taken over from Places. Do a search on “pizza London” for example and you will see map results which have reviews as well as Zagat ratings going to the Google+ Business Page, not the Google Places Pages anymore.
Integrating the pages
The management of the two pages however isn’t integrated yet, you still need to maintain both pages or you have to start moving things over. But Google is planning on integrating both, as we suspected before. And you can be one of the first. You can now already request Google to be one of the first to be considered for upgrading your listing early. In order to be considered you must have your business verified in Google Places for Business and have created a local Google+ page, after that you can apply here and wait for Google to respond.
Reviews: a tip
As mentioned yesterday in the hangout, one of the most important things you need to do to get your business page visible for local search is to get as many (positive) reviews as you can. This means people will be asking for reviews a lot from now on probably. Mike Blumenthal gave us a handy tip on how to get people to write a review for you. You can add ?review=1 to the end of a G+Business page and the review box will open directly once people will click the link. The link will look like this: https://plus.google.com/101475377013754652573/posts?review=1