If you’re only going to claim one of your free local business search listings – then claim the one provided by Google.
Google calls their local business listings “Google Places” and if your business has a business phone and has maintained a listing in the yellow pages – then you probably already have a listing on Google Places.
Google Place Pages puts a heavy emphasis on reviews but these days, those reviews are found exclusively on Google by Googld users. Recently, other online review sites took offense (a.k.a. filed suit) when Google pulled reviews from their sites and displayed them on Google Places pages. So that’s why you see the “dual focus” for Google Places Pages sign in. It’s not just for business owners – it’s for consumers as well.
Google Places is tightly integrated with Google Maps – so when consumers search for a local business on their smart phones – as they’re prone to do -and find one they want to patronize - they can easily pull up step by step directions to get to the business they just found.
Once you’ve claimed your Place on Google, you can upload photos and videos, create online offers and basically promote your business online quickly and easily.
Recent changes and updates to Google Places were announced on the Google Lat Long Blog reports in the Ongoing Evolution of Google Place Pages
Beyond today’s transition, our long-term vision for local search includes:
- Bringing you more personalized results when you search for local places — because we understand that information from the people you know is most meaningful;
- Integrating some of the great information that’s been buried on Place pages into your web search experience across all Google platforms;
- Giving you more ways to rate, discover and share places you love faster and easier than ever, wherever you are, and on whichever device you choose.
Notice – Google is going to start paying attention to what your “friends” like. How does Google know who your “friends” are? Someday – they’d love to include the G+ information – but for now they’re probably going to rely on another popular social media site – Facebook – to find your friends and what they like.
If you don’t have a business presence on Facebook yet – while it’s not a local business search listing site – you probably need to create one. Obviously what goes on at Facebook and other social media networking sites with regards to your business is going to start playing a role in Google’s recommendations for your customers in the future.