While reviewing Google’s Rich Snippets for Local Search page, I stumbled upon the link “Tell us about your content.” This page offers a form that local content aggregators can submit to Google. Owners or managers of a business or chain of businesses should still claim and edit their listings via Google Places. Information such as photos, hours of operation, and reviews come from local business owners or content aggregators.
Partnering with Google can surely increase brand visibility by having information displayed on Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Web Search, and Google Maps for mobile and included in GOOG-411. Partners will have their information distributed via these Google outlets, which will drive traffic back to your site. In order to share this information, rich snippets identifying business information such as address, phone number, and website should be set up on your site.
The submission form requires specific information on how the data is aggregated and to whom it is available. In addition, the form asks for how often the content is updated and an overview of the content, which can be separated out by sections.
The only current example of how this data is being used is in the review section of any Google Maps listing.
Using aggregated data from around the web will allow for Google Places to offer much more valuable information. For instance, only business owners or managers that claim their business are able to list coupons and current deals. The addition of aggregated local content will surely bring about some changes to Google Places.