Have you heard the buzz that your Google Places business page has automatically changed to a Google+ Local page? Confused as to what this means to your business listing? Here’s a quick breakdown. Google basically gave the Google Places pages a design and user interface facelift. The places dashboard, where you manage your business page information and content posted, has not changed. The new interface now gives customers the ability to rate, review, and upload photos. The way to claim and verify your business has not changed; you still need to apply to have a pin sent to you from Google. The five-star rating changed into the 30 point Zagat score. The Zagat scoring is determined by taking individual user ratings on a 0 to 3 point scale, then multiplying the average ratings by ten to arrive at the average scores. Right now you have to manage your Google+ business page and Local Google+ page separately, but be prepared for Google to merge these two pages at some point in the future. If you don’t have a Google+ Business page right now, it is not required for you to create at one. The only suggestion in getting a Google+ business page is to check out the social features it has to offer and get familiar with the capabilities of the site for future changes to the Google+ Local pages.

Overall, this change is nothing to feel anxiety over. Business owners should look to see how to embrace this change to find a new way in connecting with customers. Keep encouraging customers to give reviews on your page to help increase your ranking.

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