Small Biz Updates From Google

Google rolled out updates this week that will give searchers more direct access to your Place PageGoogle Local Search Update 2 in their search results — and a brand presence on their new social network, Google+.

Your Place Page Just Got Promoted

Instead of just a list of local businesses displayed next to a map, Google now brings your Place Page to the search surface, displaying your pictures and details right on the search results page.  When someone searches for your company name, your Place Page will display in the right column, giving them map, pictures, details and customer reviews, without requiring an additional click. When they search for your category (for example, ‘furniture’), you’ll see the traditional Map in the right column at first, but that changes to an abbreviated version of your Place Page as you mouse over the >> to the right of your listing (see picture).  Congratulations, Place Pages — you just got promoted to the search results page!

Google+ Pages Roll Out

The long-promised brand pages have now been rolled out on Google+.  Following Facebook’s lead,  Google+ has quickly evolved to a person-to-organization social network and now welcomes Google+ Pages to allow businesses to interact with followers through Circles, Hangouts, and other Google+ features.  There’s quite a lot of buzz in this first week and plenty of instruction available to help you create your Google+ Page (much easier than Facebook Pages).  See links below for some great tips for getting started.  Time will tell whether Google will be able to lure people and businesses away from Facebook.

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