With Google+ Local, rolling out today, Google is bringing the community of Google+ to local business owners around the world. "Now, 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," posted Google.
You will also notice a new layout and design for the listing for business. All your basic business information is still available.
It's integrated into Search, Maps and mobile and available as a new tab in Google+--creating one simple experience across Google. "From the new "Local" tab on the left-hand side of Google+, you can search for specific places or browse for ones that fit your mood. If you click on a restaurant, or a museum (or whatever), you'll be taken to a local Google+ page that includes photos, Zagat scores and summaries, reviews from people you know, and other useful information like address and opening hours," explains Avni Shah Director of Product Management.
All of Zagat's accurate scores and summaries are now highlighted on local Google+ pages. Google says they've updated its scoring system to Zagat's time-tested 30-point scale, so that users can better share their view about what makes a place unique.
"If you search for [tacos] on Google+ Local, your results might include a friend's rave review of the Baja-style taco stand in your neighborhood. And if you're searching on Google or Google Maps for a great place to buy a gift for that same friend, your results might include a review from her about a boutique she shops at all the time," Shah said.
"You can also share your opinions and upload photos. These reviews and photos will help your friends when they're checking out a place, and are also integrated into the aggregate score that other people see.
Google+ Local is also integrated across other Google products. If you're looking for a place on Search or Maps, you get the same great local information there too. You can also take it on the go with Google Maps for mobile on your Android device, and soon on iOS devices.
"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," posted Jen Fitzpatrick, VP Engineering.
Google says they will soon make it easier for business owners to manage their listings on Google and to take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ pages. "We're excited that we'll soon extend Google+ Page for business social experiences to more local Google+ pages in the weeks and months ahead," Fitzpatrick concludes.
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.