Although it makes sense considering that an actual business listing in the Local Business Center was called a place page, but Google plans to roll out a few new features for local merchants that have claimed their “place page” on Google Maps, in an attempt to entice small and medium-sized businesses to use Google more often.
Google keeps on pushing the local characteristics of search as the mobile Internet amplifies in scope and there is the realization that while we believe that we live in a more global setting we still actually live locally. The company's local business center, which enabled merchants to furnish more information about their business listing on Google Maps is cluttered with small links to pages with information about local businesses, from pizza parlors to dry cleaners. Business owners can call their listing page through previous Local Business Center and add information, photos, menus, and the like.
Businesses that wish to enhance their listings on Google Maps have few new features to accompany the renamed Google Places. (Credit: Google)
According to Google, around 4 million businesses worldwide have already “claimed” their listings among the 50 million generic business listings in Google’s directory of Places Pages.
The move comes as a new breeds of budding Web companies like Foursquare and Gowalla are gaining prominence among local merchants through popular services that encourage consumers to “check in” to bars, restaurants and other local places of business.
Furthermore, as part of this announcement Google offered some valuable information that should be of interest to those who already care or should care about their local listing in Google.
- More than 4 million business listings on Google claimed by business owners (using the Local Business Center, now Google Places)
- Nearly 2 million listings have been claimed in the United States
- 20% of searches on Google are related to location
- There are 50 million Place Pages
- Place Pages are viewed millions of times each day
- We have mailed out Favorite Places window decals to around 200,000 businesses around the United States
Additionally, the new type of Google ads, dubbed “Tags,” empowers local businesses in Austin, Texas, Atlanta, Houston, San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C., to add “tags” to their Google Maps search result listing that enables them to emphasize certain aspects of their business in yellow, as opposed to the red place markers that signal their location. These ads cost $25 a month, and Google has been experimenting with them in Houston and San Jose up until this point.
For example -- A pizzeria, could offer a coupon next to its listing to make it appear distinctive from all the other pizzerias included in the search results for a particular region. Also, if you are in the right city you can have interior pictures of your business taken by Google. You can apply for this option but there are no guarantees.
Google said the new ads which is under experiment stage in San Jose, California and Houston, will be rolled out in ten more cities within the coming weeks.
This video below gives one of Google's quick overviews of Google Places: