Earlier today Mike Blumenthal posted on his Local Search blog about the latest changes to Google+ Local Business pages and Google+ Pages (I know, half the problem is that they named them so similarly!). After sharing Mike’s Google+ post about the Google announcement, there have been a few questions about what, if anything, innkeepers need to do next.
What has been the status quo?
There has been a long series of changes, big and small, in Google’s listings for Local Businesses – name changes, function changes, merging pages, and more. Without delving into all the details, a business ideally should have a business listing (currently this is the Google+ Local Business page – used, among other things, on Google Maps and, it appears, in mobile search results). With the advent of Google+ there became a possibility to have a Google+ page for your Business (your G+ Business page – not the same as your Local Business listing). Eventually, the G+ Local Business page got a Dashboard to provide analytics (called Insights), and other information about visitors to the page.
What is Google announcing?
The announcement is that social posts will now be reported in the Dashboard. The way the announcement, and reports about it, are worded, it sounds like the G+ Local Business Page is being merged with the G+ Business page. There is a clarification that this is coming, but is not what is being announced now. For now, it is just that social posts will be in the Dashboard.
What do I have to do now?
What to do now is up to you, and may depend on what you have done previously.
Anyone creating/claiming a new Google Places for Business page will automatically get the upgrade.
If you have a Google Places for Business Page, and it has been verified, it will be updated automatically, but not necessarily right away. The upgrade will roll out gradually. If you have a verified listing, you may see an upgrade widget in your Dashboard. If you can click it, you may get the upgrade a bit earlier.
Either way, Google says you’ll get the upgrade eventually.