On May 30th Google introduced Google+Local – putting an end to how we (and they) see and approach Local optimization. An estimated 80 million Local pages were merged from Local pages into Google+ Local pages.
With Google Local, many of you had reviews that were on a scale of one to five (with five being the best). Reviews are now done using the Zagat scale, which is out of 30. Google acquired Zagat in September 2011. The Zagat scale is explained as follows:
- Individual user ratings are based on a 0-3 point scale (with three being the best).
- Google then takes those ratings, averages them, then multiplies it by 10 to arrive at average scores.
Don’t worry; reviews that were left on your Google Places page should be merged onto your new Google+ Local page.
Google is tapping into its social network aspects by showing which business your friend has reviewed, or recommended. If one of your clients is a Google+ member and leaves a review, the friends whom they’re connected with will be able to see that review.
The transition period from Local to Google+ Local wasn’t instantaneous. Since the merge was initially announced, the full transition of all data isn’t complete. We do not know when, or if, Google will announce when it is complete, but we do know that it is in progress.
What Happens Now?
There is currently no way to directly edit the Google+ Local information for businesses. However, by updating the account used to administer the Google Places pages, it is more likely that Google will use the information in the Places page for the Google+ Local page.
There may be some kinks to work out, and information may not be accurate across all listings due to the transition process still being in place, but we are auditing client accounts on a daily basis.
Please let us know if you have any questions.