It’s official! On May 30th, 2012 Google Places pages were officially replaced and merged with Google+ Local pages.

This is of particular interest to those of you who have a business that relies on being found by your address, and even if you are not that bothered, you should be, because a lot of Google Places pages are listed at the top of the search engine results, and often found above even the organically placed and coveted No.1 position.

Google Places Local Listings are often associated with restaurants, retail stores/shops, and hotels, but if you adopt this strategy in to your overall SEO efforts, more than just the aforementioned businesses can greatly benefit from being part of these search results. Google is really forcing their hand and letting you know a couple of things:

  1. Google+ is here to stay and is being integrated in to quite a few existing Google products that many individuals and businesses currently use
  2. You need to bite the bullet now and start learning how to use Google+

Google Places now merged with Google PlusSome of you may already know that Google acquired Zagat last September, and it would now appear that they are capitalizing on this acquisition by featuring feature Zagat scores and recommendations from people you’re connected to on Google+.

There is no need for anyone to panic about this change, because for the most part, things are very much the same. You just need to get used to the fact that Google+ is here to stay, and sooner or later, for those of you that are not so familiar with the social network, you will need to learn more in order to keep up with their overall plan to integrate it in to your daily web experience.

In another blog post we will show you how you can benefit from the new Google+ Local pages, and how you go about incorporating your business in to these search results.

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