Google has rolled out several Google+ features and has replaced Google Places. This modification, coupled with Google’s Penguin algorithm and Google Knowledge Graph – rings in massive changes.
Google+ Local Pages will be located in the area where Google Places used to be located when search results were shown. Google’s Marissa Mayer has been quoted “the company has already replaced 80 million Google Places pages with Google+ Local pages”
Google’s reviews have replaced the 5-star rating system with a Zagat 30-point rating scale, which brings more in depth by adding subsections on the review process, such as atmosphere, service and several others.
Google+ Local Pages are indexed by Google thus making for better optimization of results.
What everyone wants to understand is what is the difference between a Google+ Page versus a Google+ Local Page. According to RS Schmitt, “The Google+ Page has all the social features available: Sharing to circles, hangouts, video uploads, etc. A Local Google+ page is just a new version and look to the former Google Places listing, without the social features, which should be coming soon”
RS Schmitt a Business Consultant that specializes in First Page Results, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, and Search Engine Marketing, SEM, “If you first look at the data and you follow a series of events you can look to the future of the internet.”
RS Schmitt continued, “The number of Smartphones in the United States has grown from 54 million in January 2011 to over 100 million as of March 2012. The majority of U.S. cellphone owners admit to having their cellular phones with them at all times, including when going to the bathroom. Just about every Smartphone has Global Positioning Systems, GPS, built in. Mobile search has surged to 20% of web traffic, with tablets accounting for 5.6%, smart phones 14.6%, while personal computers, PCs, just under 80% according to online advertising network Chitika. Projections are that by 2015 there will be more Local searches coming from Smartphones than PCs in the US, as per Analyst firm BIA/Kelsey.”
As per Google, Local Search on PCs is 20 percent, while 40 percent for Smartphones.
“So the future is that local based search engines will own the virtual real estate on your Smartphone, which is where Google+ Local Places will be” according to RS Schmitt