Back in April, Google announced that it had changed the name of the Google Local Business Center to Google Places. They also announced a good deal of new features that businesses should be aware of. These include: service areas, advertising with tags, customized QR codes, business photo shoots, and more favorite places.
New features that come along with the name change include:
- Service areas – Businesses who travel can show the geographic areas that they cover. Those without a storefront can make their address private. Prior to this, you could only show your primary business address.
- Advertising with Tags – Paid tags for promoting your business. At $25 a month, businesses,in certain areas can use Tags to highlight their listings on Google.com and Google Maps. These are yellow markers that let you promote important aspects of your business. They can be used for things like coupons, photos and other select features. They don’t affect the rank of search results, but they give customers more information and may prove helpful to get the coveted click-thru.
- Business photo shoots – We will call it Google Store View. Businesses can request a free photo shoot from Google to have the interior of their business photographed and added to their Place Page. You can upload your own photos as well.
- Custom QR Codes – Encode your information in a scanable tag. Google is providing customized QR codes from the Google Places Dashboard. The code will take customers to your place page, and can be used on business cards and other marketing materials. You can always just get your own QR code here.
- More Favorite Places – Remember Google’s “Favorite Places” program in which the company sent brick and mortars window decals with QR codes? They’re sending them out to 50,000 more businesses in the U.S.
Google also has improved their dashboard for Google Places. Businesses can get info they haven’t been able to see in the past, like who’s searching for them, how they’re finding them, and where they’re coming from. This is through the dashboard, see video below:
I have to thank WebProNews for always keeping me updated with new information about the moves that Google is making.
Published On: May 26, 2010