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Google+ Local

Last week Google launched its new Google+ Local services.

Many of you may be familiar with Google Places were businesses could list their business information, add photos, update your address and hours, or promote your business with a coupon. Since 90% of internet searches are for local information, Google Places was a great venue for promoting your local business.

Now comes Google+ Local which is available on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  Google has been working on adding more depth to it’s social site Google +.  Now it can by incorporating information about users’ surroundings.  With Google’s purchase of Zagat, the well known ratings system, Google+ Local will now incorporate the Zagat rating system.

So if you are looking for an Italian Restaurant in the neighborhood, Google+ Local will display choices that include Zagat scores.  The Google + Local will also look for recommendations form your Google + Circle of Friends. If any of your friends had something good or bad to say about this neighborhood Italian Restaurant or posted a photo, this information now we be included.

Venues appear in a list showing their respective scores and reviews along with a map pinpointing the locations.

Below is some information direct from Google regarding Google+ Local.

Helping people find, rate and share your business

With these updates, Google is connecting the millions of people on Google+ to local businesses around the world. With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review.

Integrated Zagat reviews

For years, Zagat has provided trustworthy, concise, user-generated reviews, and we are excited to bring these to Google+ Local. Google also updated theirscoring system to Zagat’s time-tested 30-point scale, so that users can better share their view about what makes a place unique.

Continue to manage through Google Places for Business

If you are a business owner, you should continue to manage your information in Google Places for Business. You’ll still be able to verify your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews. For those who use AdWords Express, your ads will operate as normal as they’ll automatically redirect people to the destination you selected, or your current listing.

More changes coming soon for business owners

We know many of you have already created a Google+ Page for your business, and have been hosting hangouts and sharing photos, videos and posts. We’re excited that we’ll soon extend these social experiences to more local Google+ pages in the weeks and months ahead. To give you a sense of what’s coming, we’ve worked with a few business owners to fully upgrade their listings early and share their Google+ business identity across Search, Maps and Mobile.

Here are some examples of businesses using Google+ Local to their advantage:

Mezze Restaurant

The Meatball Shop

Mio Restaurant

Houston Texans

If you know of some local Houston businesses who have already started using Google + Local, let us know.  We will be glad to feature a link to their Google + Local posting in a future blog post.