Initially, when Google was launching Places, they thought that it would be an efficient means for merchants and their customers to communicate. For some reason, this did not turn out to be the case with part of the blame going to the limitations found on the Places platform.

Therefore, Google decided to merge Google Places with their new social networking site, Google+; creating the new Google+ Local pages. This simply means that when searching for different locations online, searchers will be directed to Google+ Local pages in place of Google places.

Google+ Local gives local business owner a powerful marketing and interaction tool that allows them to communicate with their customers freely via Google’s social network setting.

These new local listing pages have made headlines in the internet world because of the new-age, social marketing factor associated with them.

If you don’t spend a lot of time reading news online, then you may have missed this important piece of information, or you might have experienced the replacement already.

This change may seem annoying to a lot of business owners as well as consumers, but all we can do is embrace it and utilize the new solution to its full advantage.

As a business owner, going from Google Places to the all the new and dynamic Google+ Local pages is inevitable. With most, if not all the Google Places profiles automatically changed to Google+ Local, the only thing left for us to do is to enjoy the benefits that come with it. Google+ Local pages are appealing and have a wide range of features that will prove to be vital in any online marketing campaign.

The change is aimed at giving users a more “active” feel and offers features that work towards benefiting your target audience; therefore making your business stand out. In other words, your Google Places listing is not totally gone; it has just turned social.

Either way, there is no need to panic; this blog series will shed the much needed light on the essentials of Google+ Local pages to help you adapt to the changes.

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