Google has made some initial moves behind putting some serious resource behind Google Local Business Centre, a move which has resulted in it being renamed Google Places. The move not only incorporates a new name but also a new suite of additional features and a more advanced help and support framework.
According to the release from Google
Why? Millions of people use Google every day to find places in the real world, and we want to better connect Place Pages – the way that businesses are being found today – with the tool that enables business owners to manage their presence on Google.
So how exactly are they going to do this. Well Google Places still incorporates the original Google Local Business Centre functionality however the new platform will incorporate some new features namely
- Service Areas
- Enhanced Listing now called tags, plus expansion outside of its initial core focus areas of Houston and San Jose, to incorporate Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco.
- Free Interior Photography of the business
- Free QR Codes
- Favourite Places
The system will also see the support significantly upped including an introductory webinar and a number of case studies particularly geared at Small to Medium sized corporations.
Much of the improvements mentioned above are not new announcements however it does to a certain degree represent the increased focus Google is now putting on Local Search. I can’t help thinking there is nothing astounding in the new announcements, however one can’t help feeling this is the first of a number of new improvements to the Local Search framework.