Google+ Local Does More Than Google Places - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Government // Enterprise Architecture
02:31 PM
Connect Directly

Google+ Local Does More Than Google Places

By combining local information with social networking, Google hopes to make Google+ more relevant for users and businesses.

10 Essential Google+ Tips
Slideshow: 10 Essential Google+ Tips
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Continuing its effort to augment its services with social capabilities, Google on Wednesday introduced Google+ Local, the result of crossbreeding between Google Places and Google+.

For the past few years, social, local, and mobile have been areas of intense interest among technology companies and venture capital investors. Google has become a mobile powerhouse, thanks to Android, and has invested heavily in location data through Google Maps and related services such as Google Places.

Google hasn't done as well with social data, at least compared to Facebook. And that explains its crusade to make Google+ inescapable across its services. By wedding Google+ to services that people actually want to use, Google hopes to make its social network more vibrant and vital.

Google+ Local replaces Google Places pages, the listings by which businesses are represented in Search and Maps. Business owners who use Google Places for Business can still access their Google Places page and dashboard. But their consumer-facing Place information now appears in the context of a Google+ Local page.

[ Read Google Maps Listings Marred By False Information. ]

Google+ has gained a Local tab on the left-hand navigation bar. In addition, Google+ Local is integrated into Search, Maps, and mobile, fulfilling goals Google VP of consumer products Marissa Mayer outlined a year ago.

To make Google+ Local work without borrowing third-party content from the likes of Yelp, Google is relying on restaurant reviews it acquired through its purchase of Zagat last year.

Google director of product management Avni Shah said Google is using Zagat's reviews to improve access to quality local information. "Each place you see in Google+ Local will now be scored using Zagat's 30-point scale, which tells you all about the various aspects of a place so you can make the best decisions," she said in a blog post.

Businesses concerned that they will have to babysit separately Google+ Pages, for general business information, and Google+ Local pages, for location-oriented business information, might see that burden diminish over time.

Google VP of engineering Jen Fitzpatrick said, "we'll soon extend these social experiences to more local Google+ pages in the weeks and months ahead."

In other words, business identities on Google can be expected to become more unified across different Google services such as Search, Maps, and mobile.

Cloud Connect is expanding to the Windy City. Join 1,200+ IT professionals at Cloud Connect Chicago, where you will learn how to leverage new cloud technology solutions to increase productivity and improve your business agility. Join us in Chicago, Sept. 10 -13. Register today!

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll