Google+ Local: Does The Update Affect Your SEO?
- June 1, 2012
- /Ryan England
- /Google Place Pages, Google Updates, Local, Organic, Reputation Management, SEO, WhiteHat
- /No Comments
I was originally going to write a post on Penguin afterthoughts and the new Penguin 1.1 Google Update; however another update affects a lot more of my clients. I’ll be creating that planned post over the next week most likely.
Yesterday, 5/30/12, Google released Google+ Local. For most businesses, these are now showing up instead of their Place Pages. All the content from the Place Page transferred over, but the look and feel is a little different. Google+ is essentially Google’s answer to Facebook, and by merging both their Place Pages and Social Network into a hybrid is genius for the growth of their user base.
If you log in to your Place Page as you’ve done in the past, you’ll notice that everything is the same. This mostly means that the optimization of these pages remains the same, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they started taking the number of fans into account for the rankings. Obviously they’re smarter than pages with a ton of fake accounts as fans, so this further encourages the emphasis of growing your social network for your markets.
Google+ Review Ranking
The one noticeable change is the rankings that are left when customers leave reviews. In the past it was a 5 star based system, but they bought out Zagat almost a year ago, which is a Restaurant Rating website that hosts place reviews. This uses a 30 point based system instead, although individual reviews are only based out of 3. Google then takes an average of all the reviews, multiplies it by 10, and then you receive your score out of 30 points. It also appears that to leave a review, its necessary to have a Google+ Account, which again is another great move to help grow their social network.
Not The Same As A Google+ Business Page
It’s important to take note that this local page is not the same as your Google+ Business Page. They’re both unique links and pages, although Google mentioned that eventually they’ll be combined. As far as managing these goes, just think of one as your Place Page and the other as the Business Page. Essentially its the same as before.
I’ve already blogged fairly in depth about Google Place Pages and the Importance of Social Media in an SEO campaign and for growing your business. This is a noticeable update, but as far as optimization is concerned, not much is changing. If I hear anything else about these updates, I’ll be sure to post on the blog.
Thanks for reading. ~Ryan England – Executive SEO