Google Renames its Local Business Center to Google Places

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To connect its Local Business Center with the millions of people who use Google every day to find places, Google is renaming the Local Business Center to Google Places. Google recently introduced Place Pages to help people make more informed decisions about where to go – from restaurants and hotels to dry cleaners and bike shops. Google Place Pages connects users to the best sources of information across the web – information that include photos, reviews, real-time updates and various promotional offers by business owners.

Google was quite successful with its implementation of the Place Page. In fact around 4 million businesses have already used it and claim for their individual Place Page on Google through the Local Business Center which starting today is now labeled as Google Places. Despite the change in the service’s name, Google will continue to provide the same tools offered by Place Pages and the Local Business Center.

In line with the renaming of  the Local Business Center to Google Places, Google has also rolled out several new features of the service.

  • Service areas: If you travel to serve customers, you can now show which geographic areas you serve. And if you run a business without a storefront or office location, you can now make your address private.
  • A new, simple way to advertise: For just $25 per month, businesses in select cities can make their listings stand out on Google.com and Google Maps with Tags. As of today, we’re rolling out Tags to three new cities — Austin, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. — in addition to ongoing availability in Houston and San Jose, CA. In the coming weeks we’ll also be introducing Tags in Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and San Francisco.
  • Business photo shoots: In addition to uploading their own photos, businesses in select cities can now request a free photo shoot of the interior of their business which we’ll use to supplement existing photos of businesses on Place Pages. We’ve been experimenting with this over the past few months, and now have created a site for businesses to learn more and express their interest in participating.
  • Customized QR codes: From the dashboard page of Google Places, businesses in the U.S. can download a QR code that’s unique to their business, directly from their dashboard page. QR codes can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, and customers can scan them with certain smartphones to be taken directly to the mobile version of the Place Page for that business.
  • Favorite Places: We’re doing a second round of our Favorite Places program, and are mailing window decals to 50,000 businesses around the U.S. These decals include a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to directly view the mobile Place Page for the business to learn more about their great offerings.

 

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google, Ask.com, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building three niche blogs covering iPad News, Google Android Phones and E-Book Readers.
Arnold Zafra
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  • http://drivingonlinesales.com/ Wynne

    It's interesting that they decided to change their name. I think it a smart move, and one designed to give some brand recognition to their service. Local businesses need to be able to refer to 'something' when recommending their business friends use this service.

  • http://www.scottmosteller.net Scott Mosteller

    WOW! Google's next big frontier is Local Business. The new Google Places with the different ways to advertise is going to be EXPLOSIVE!! You better be on the map.
    Great Article,
    Thanks,
    Scott Mosteller

  • colewar

    This is a great service. You don't have to spend thousands to get on googles top 10. Just spend some time on LBC and you'll be rewarded. Its really paid off for our clients.
    We have more information on our site- http://www.JupiterMarketingGroup.com

  • http://www.nathanieldeal.com Local Business Marketing

    This is great. I am trying to keep up with all of the changes that they are making to the Local Business Center. Thanks for for update!

  • http://www.nathanieldeal.com Local Business Marketing

    This is great. I am trying to keep up with all of the changes that they are making to the Local Business Center. Thanks for for update!