It has officially been announced that the Local Business Centre has been rebranded by Google Maps listings for local businesses as Google Places.
The change has been in effort by Google to better connect Google Place Pages with the place where local business information is claimed, entered and enhanced. The Place Pages currently allows business to provide valuable information to potential searchers such as operating hours, special business offers, photos, payment methods, pictures and reviews. Google Places will not significantly change, other than the name change, however various new features and emphasis on current features will be heavily pushed in effort to better connect customers with Google Places and Pages.
Google Places additional features:
- ‘Enhanced Listings’:
For $25(US)/per month to make a business listing ‘stand out’ a little more or highlight a certain feature such as a menu or video which you would like your customers to focus on. There are 7 enhancement categories which a business can choose, however at this stage, the focus is on one enhancement category at a time.
The categories include:
- Business Photos
Google are offering free photo shoots to businesses listed on Google Places with Place Pages, allowing pictures to be taken professionally within the business.
- Favourite Places
The change to be listed as a ‘Favourite Place’ on Google Maps based upon a collection of celebrity favourite places such as places which inspire Al Gore, or Paris Hiltons favourite places to shop in Beverly Hills.
Customised QR Codes
- Customised QR Codes
A QR Code is pretty much a bar code for mobile phones. These codes are different to each business and can be places on various marketing material, where customers can scan the code with their mobile (Smartphone) and can be directly taken to the mobile version of the business Place Page.
The change of name and push with additional features could be seen by Google to actively promote local businesses online and better connect consumers.