Website Optimization Blog

New Google+ Local Integrates Social & Search

A huge motion was made by Google this week. The search giant ditched its local Google Places pages for what are now Google+ Local pages.

The most significant aspect of this change is that these new Google+ Local pages are integrated in the social media platform Google Plus. What was solely a component of organic search (Google Places) has now merged into both a social and a search portal.

It’s no doubt that Google’s evolution of local Google Places pages is big step at expanding its Google Plus network. For users who’ve been on the fence about taking Google Plus seriously as legitimate social platform, may now start to dabble a bit more now that search is involved.

So what’s really going on with Google, and what do you need to know moving forward? Let’s take a deeper look into some of these changes and how they’re impacting online business and local search engine marketing.

Google+ Local: A Hybrid of Places

Designed for virtually any type of business or organization, Google+ Local pages are essentially a hybrid of Google Places pages. The content structure and information offered on these pages have not changed much. What’s more prominent on Google+ Local pages is the social interaction via reviews and content sharing.


Business reviews, and thus reputation management, is primary focus for local companies with Google+ Local. The platform uses a scoring system for businesses, particularly for restaurants now that Google owns Zagat.



The new Google+ Local platform is a local search engine in itself. Users can search for just about anything and Google will return the local businesses that are most relevant to the keyphrase that was searched. In essence, local search has found a new home which is centered on the Google Plus platform.

Although Google Places listings still exist in a typical local SERP, further changes are bound to happen. Google+ Local is destined to replace all Google Places pages, so an interesting outcome awaits, especially for SEO’s and Internet marketers.

At WPG, we think the Google+ Local pages will soon be appearing in the organic search results, further steering users to the Google Plus social network. When users sign-up to make reviews and interact with the platform, they’ll be hooked, and other social media platforms may diminish.

Google Plus Reminiscent to Facebook?


It’s no coincidence that the layout of the Google Plus social network is similar to Facebook. In short, Google wants to ensure a smooth transition for  Facebook users. By using a slightly similar format, in conjunction with new and improved features, the social media savvy may find a new home at Google Plus.While utilizing the chat functionality on the right hand side of the page along with an easy ‘sharing’ feature, Google Plus is definitely reminiscent of Facebook. Google Plus goes one step further by adding layers of social interaction with its ‘Circles’ to better manage groups of friends, family, acquaintances, or co-workers. Additionally, Google Plus offers even more for users by integrating locally relevant aspects with its ‘Hangouts’ and now ‘Google+ Local’ pages.

Local Search Merges with Social

The social elements of Google Plus are already popping up in search. And although Google Places pages are shown in local search, these too may soon be replaces with Google+ Local pages in the SERPs.

Google Plus social icons are popping up everywhere in search too. From the paid listings to the organic results, the emergence of social cues in the search landscape is changing the playing field. In time, these social elements may soon become increasingly popular. As more users make the move toward Google Plus and begin establishing their circles of connections, the infusion of social with search could be very momentous.


This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, a Traverse City SEO & Website Optimization Specialists here at Web Presence Group.
Visit Tyler on Google+

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