Google is about to make Google+ a MUST HAVE for local Small Business <tweet this>
It’s no secret, Google has been merging Google Places (Google Maps) to Google+ Local, however the “game changer” is about to be released! <tweet this>
If you follow this blog at all, you know I have been expecting this update for quite some time. When Google bought Zagat (a ranking system) it was clear they had some big plans… but this goes way beyond what I was expecting!
Granted as of the writing of this post, Google has not made any official announcements, however there was a “Leak” on the Google Operating System Blog… and as the I/O conference is about to happen, I am thinking that this new program may be announced there…
Here is what has been “Leaked” on the Google Operating System Blog… <tweet this>
New Google Maps Interface
Google is about to launch a new interface for Google Maps. The update will remove the sidebar and will display everything on top of the full-screen map. One of the new features lets you restrict local search results to places recommended by top reviews or your Google+ circles.
It’s a more immersive interface that will probably work well on mobile devices. Instead of focusing on navigational elements, buttons and sidebars, the new Google Maps focuses on the map. Google has also updated map colors, icons, text styles.
On the surface the changes coming to Google Maps only looks like an Interface update…. but it is SOOOOO much more!!
This update for Google Maps will further integrate Google+ Local and using the Zagat ranking system along with Google+ profiles you will now be able to see information on the map with “Real” reviews from people you know (or at least you are connected to within Google+)
For those of you that just missed that bombshell…. Google will now be ranking your business on the map based on consumer reviews on Google+!!! <tweet this>
Fact: Movie Studios spend Millions of dollars advertising a new movie to get you to go and see it… but all it takes is someone you know to say, “Yeah, I saw that… it sucked” and you will re-think going to the theater and maybe wait for it to come out on DVD or Netfilx…
Apply that same logic to reviews of local businesses and you have a VERY powerful marketing tool! It’s no secret that reviews sell or discourage… and if that review is by someone you know… then it’s even more powerful!
Ok, so why is the New Google Maps Interface so important to your Local Business? <tweet this>
Less than 40% of the Small Businesses within the U.S. are currently on the Google Maps (Google Places) and with Google continuing to integrate Google+ with Google Local, YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS be part of Google+!!
I know you think Google+ is no where near as big as Facebook… However Google+ is FAR better for your Local Business!!
Facebook may have over a Billion users, however you have no way to reach all of them… at least effectively. Look, people do not go to Facebook to find businesses, they go to hang out with their “Friends” and “Bitch” about current events. With all of the new advertising spam all over Facebook, people are actually getting “numb” to it… and completely ignoring the advertisers. Having said all of that, people do, from time to time, ask for recommendations for a plumber or mechanic or something like that… and quite frankly, that is the absolute BEST way anyone can get business, however it is not reliable and you can’t Pay for more.
Google+ has ZERO advertising… Because Google doesn’t need the money! Google makes their money with search, and as they merge Google+, Google Places (Google Maps), Reviews and other programs you may see some ads down the road… but nothing like the Ad Spam on Facebook!