Google Business vs Google Place vs Google Plus: Untangling Google’s Web of Local Pluses & Places
Confused about whether to have a Google Plus Local? Or a Google Plus for Business? Or maybe you just need a Google Place listing? You’re not alone. Since Google released its local strategy over 10 years ago, we have been taken on a (seemingly never-ending) journey of listings, maps, dashboards and verification codes.
In this article, we untangle the difference between each of the Google local products and discuss the local Google presence your business should have.
Google Local Listings: A Quick Recap on How Things Have Changed
Google Local has had a turbulent life since coming out of Beta in 2004 with name changes, spam attacks, countless dashboards, and more appearance changes than Lady Gaga.
Below is the rollercoaster journey that has shaped Google Local to what we find today.
Tip: to see your Google local listing, type in your business name and address to Google. This should bring up your listing.
How Can I Get a Google Listing?
Even if you haven’t actively set up a Google local listing, Google automatically sets one up. It is then up to the business owner to claim, verify and populate it. You can do so by clicking on ‘Manage this page’ button on the listing.
You can edit place information via the dashboard here
Businesses with multiple offices/stores should submit each location as a separate listing
2. Local Google + Page
What is a Local Google+ Page?
The Local Google+ Page offers the social/engagement side of your traditional Google place page
You can identify these pages if there are tabs for Posts, About, Photos and Videos. (You can tell you’re on a G+ Local page because it has a tick that says ‘verified local business’ when you hover over it)
This is where your customers and clients can go to rate and review your business. Reviews from Zagatare also integrated into this site
The Local Google + pages are great for driving people to your store/office as it includes maps, contact details etc
If you’re looking to engage with local customers, this is a great platform to use
Where is the Information Shown?
This is your business presence on Google local search platforms.
Information shown on Google Maps is also pulled through from here (as it is synced with your Google local listing)
How Can I Get a Local Google+ Page?
If you have a Google local listing, Google automatically gives you a Google+ Local page (see section above on setting up a local listing)
Note that you don’t have to wait to complete the verification process before you can see the Local Google+ page
When a business owner verifies a local Google+ Page, any existing listing for the business is merged with the local Google+ Page to create a single page with a verified tick
Businesses with multiple offices/stores should set up a Local Google + Page for each of the locations
Google + Business/Brand page
Finally we come to the Google+ Business page. Although technically not a type of Local Listing, it is important to understand what it is and how it impacts your Local Listings.
What is a Google+ Business Page?
Google + Business page is Google’s equivalent to Facebook profile/Twitter etc
It is only linked with your local profile if you state that you are a local business
Google seems to be intent on merging Google local/places with the Google+ Business pages. Therefore, it will do its best to persuade you to set up a Google Local profile whilst on your way to setting up a Google+ Business page. If you are not a local business, there is an option to set up a Brand business pages non-local businesses. http://www.google.com/+/business/brands/
It should be updated and used as a social networking tool as normal
Where is the Information Shown?
Your page, along with your most recent posts, is eligible to show on the right-hand side of Google search results
Tip: Google states that “the more content you post, the stronger your presence can be on Google.com”