We have had a major, but positive, change occur in the search engine world.
Google has moved a lot of their services, namely the administration of local business listings, from their old platform Google Places for Businesses into their social platform, Google+.
Google first allowed businesses to manage their listing information with Google Maps then there was Google Places. Earlier this year Google changed this into a solution called Google+ Local that offered traditional business listing information (supplied and managed in Places) for the new platform. You may have seen our blog post about this.
However, this was just a preliminary change to acclimate business owners and users alike to Google+. With this latest change to the way businesses manage their information, the leading search engine is asking all business owners to re-verify their business information in the new platform (all Cj managed Local pages were all verified). The process of verifying will still rely on an option between receiving a phone call or receiving a PIN postcard (pictured above) in the mail for the listed location, although it seems that most businesses are only being given the postcard option at this time. In the new system, existing listings are established using phone numbers; this means that clients having multiple numbers for any given location may have multiple listings generated. Once a listing is verified for a given location, the new verified Page listing will replace the old Places or Local page.
Since the introduction of Google+, launched in June of 2011, Cj has anticipated this change. As mentioned above, Google is consolidating users and their search experience to make the user’s visit to the search engine more meaningful. The Search team has already begun working to identify listings we will begin claiming for our clients. We have created a process for ensuring listings are completed properly and tested the process with our own business listing.
Our Search team is working with Client Services
What this means for our clients is that we have identified the majority of listings related to each location. Our Search team is working with Client Services to ensure that the information featured on the new business page is accurate. Over the next few weeks, our clients can expect to receive the redesigned PIN postcards as a final step in verifying their listings. As we work through the change brand managers will reach out, when necessary, to verify the business listings and fill in any missing areas of the business listings based on the verified listings from Google Places. This makes the process of updating and transitioning relatively easy. No worries if your listing was not verified, claiming or creating a new business Page is as easy as following a few steps – which we have tested for accuracy. Aside from providing the PIN number, cj Advertising clients will not have to do much else in the transition from Google Places to Pages.
We are available, as always, to answer any questions about this change, how it may affect you, and how the process works.
If you’d like to read Google’s thoughts and recommendations about this change, the following quote and links come directly from Google:
Jade Wang (Community Manager for Google+ Local) writes: “You’ll need to verify that you’re representing your business by having a postcard sent, even if you’re a verified business owner on Google Places for Business. Also note that verification will only work for pages created in the “Local Business or Place” category in Google+”.
Even more information on the upgrade from Google Places into the Google+ Pages can be found here.