Google has a long term goal of connecting all people with quality local search, a service that enables businesses and individuals to be easily found on the web. Google provides local search results through Google Maps.
When you search for a product or service on Google Maps you can specify in a search box the type of device you are using, your location at the time of the request and also a location if you would like to know the latitude and longitude of your location before attempting to find it. Google Maps will show you the location of the business if it’s not in the same town as your request, or the closest store in order for you to have service that is closest to your location.
Google Maps also provides information for businesses that you want listed, as well as an online business directory to provide businesses that have closed within the last 90 days. Google Local Lists allow you to create product descriptions and list your products, and you can find your business listed or leave your review.
Google Maps and Google Local Business Center
Google Maps and Google Local Business Center allow businesses the ability display their contact information at their location. Your storefront or business address can be viewed in real time and can provide directions via Google Maps to get to your location and can even provide a hyperlink to your website, providing the ability for customers to contact your business should they have questions.
Google Local Business Center allows your business to have video interviews for your approval, allow your business to post product reviews, allow your business to provide directions and also give you the ability to submit a news announcement. Your business can also allow the community to rate your business and provide customer reviews of your products and services!
Google has made it easy and quick for local businesses to be found on the web. With Google Local Business Center and Google Maps you can be found by your local customers, who need information on what is available nearest them, or found by the world at large. Google has created the first comprehensive, easy-to-use, integrated search and directory services. This is a major step forward in search engine integration. Google has created the most comprehensive directory service that helps your customers find you.
You can view the Google Maps and Business Center help files in the Google Downloads area and documentation.
Google Local Business Center
Google also offers an online tool for local businesses. Google Local Business Center allows businesses to have their address and phone number displayed above customers’ listings. Google’s service is ideal for local businesses who do not want their business displayed above the listings from other providers like YellowPages, Yelp, and others. Google’s service gives businesses the flexibility to add or exclude the information they want to display. It does this via an additional dropdown menu.
Google Local is also perfect for businesses who use generic domain names, like domain plates or domain names. It is especially good news for small businesses or one man shops that do not want their generic business domain name displayed above a search for a law firm, etc. Google Local lets businesses display their generic business name or domain through an additional dropdown menu.
This is ideal because most customers do not search the firm, company or name itself, but rather the location. This means your business can display a generic business phone number to make your business more visible in search results, as long as the majority of your customers are not searching for service in your specific location, of course. You can also add photos and pictures to Google Local. The picture extension lets you add images to the dropdown menu, including photos, graphics and vector illustrations.
Google Local also lets you define categories of businesses and allow customers to vote on businesses in that category. For example, a customer can vote to approve a photo of “dog groomers” above a search for “dog groomers Baltimore.” The vote counts as approval of the business for displaying dog groomers in the category.
This is especially important with photos on Google+ Local. Google+ allows customers to add photos, and Google+ Local’s category capabilities allows customers to vote for businesses in that category. A customer can even add comments on photos, just like they can on Google+ Local. Comments on Google+ Local carry some weight though. Comments on photos on Google+ Local are seen as official vote counts for the business.
Google+ Local has a bit of a different function, because Google+ Local is tied to your Google+ Local page. As you add content, Google+ Local will also update and add the new content to your Google+ Local page.
For example, if you have a Google+ Local page, then your Google Local content will automatically be added to your Places Page and your Google Places Page. The content does not automatically update on your Google Profile. You need to go to your profile page and click the edit icon, then update your information.
It doesn’t mean your business will show in search results. You still need to complete the local listing process on Google itself.
You can add as much or as little as you want to your Places Page. But if you want it to update and add to when you add content, then it will do that automatically.
When you add new Google+ Local content, it will automatically update your Google Places Page and your Google+ Local page.
Adding your Google+ Local page to Places provides you with some extra benefits. Your profile page shows up in Google Places, and when someone clicks the Google Places link from your Google Profile page, they will land on your local profile page. This gives you more authority in the Places search results, compared to the normal Google Places results.