How To Call Google To Fix Google Plus / Google Places Listings

If you are in USA and need help with problems with your google plus / places page listings you can call google through their website (you give them your contact number and then they call you)

here is the current link:

https://support.google.com/places/#ts=3138600&topic=1656871&contact=1

call google

 

New Google design layout for local entertainment searches | local seo

Google has changed the layout for some new categories in the local search field such as bars hotels and restaurants.
So as a small business what should you do? Well if you look at the screenshot first obvious thing is that you now have a tiny square pic shown prominently up top MAKE SURE YOU GET A NICE ONE UP!
In the older days of SEO, it was all word / link / position focused. This is yet another example of how things are shifting away from that. An attractive inviting picture “assuming you are already showing up top” will be the main differentiator now instead of what position you were in the old layout.
carousel google sj

Carousel Results:

Amusement parks Convenience stores Nature preserves Arcades Deli Night clubs Art galleries Diners Pizza Attractions Dog parks Polish Bakeries Ethiopian Record stores Bars Fast food Restaurants BBQ German Sandwich Beer Grocery stores Sandwiches Breakfast Hamburgers Seafood Breweries Hotels Soup Brewpubs Indian Stadiums Cafes Italian Stadiums Catering Japanese Steakhouses Chinese Mediterranean Sushi Clubs Mexican Tacos Coffee shops Motel Thai Colleges Movie theaters Theaters Comedy clubs Museums Vietnamese

 

Traditional Local Results:

Accountants Eye doctor Pet store Animal Shelters Financial Advisors Physician Antique shop Fire stations Plumber Apartments Florist Police stations Attorney Furniture store Post office Auto dealer Gas station Real estate agent Auto shops Golf course Recycling Banks Health club Schools Bike shop Hospitals Self storage Bookstores Hostel Shoe store Bowling alley Insurance Agents Shopping center Car rental Insurance agents Shops Casino Jewelry store Spa Church Laundry Swimming pool Clothing store Libraries Synagogue Credit unions Locksmiths Taiwanese Daycare Moving companies Tattoo Dentist Office space Temple Department store Painter Toy store Electrician Parks Travel agency Employment agencies Pawn shop Vet

 

Argh! What happened to my Google Places?? Google+ Local is replacing it. Q&A

 

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Here is an excellent Q&A that goes over many questions marketers in the field have been asking.

Reviews

If a user just has a gmail account will they be able to write a review or must they also sign up for Google+?

They will need to sign up for Google +

So our customers are not able to leave reviews unless they are on Google+?

Yep, you need a Google+ account to write a review. See the help page.

Can reviewers leave anonymous reviews?

No. At this point it is real names only.

Is there any way to choose a nickname like we had in Places reviews?

No

Why am I not seeing the “Leave a Review” button?

These had been removed from the Places page in anticipation of this move and put on the new Google+ Local page. If you are still not seeing the review button it is because you have landed on the old Place page which is still accessible..

Why would Google make my re-publish old reviews while I’m trying to publish a NEW review for a different business? 

Why it happens at that point in the process was an intentional design decision. It is a one-time process needed since Google is moving from anonymous and nicknamed reviews to full, real identity reviews. This necessitated some sort of user approval process to explicitly allow your user name to be seen or to choose to make the review private.

Oh Google, you are driving me CRAZY! Can you please tell me how a dentist can have a Zagat review rating on their places page?

In this case it will be a single number indicating quality on the 0-30 scale.

 

reviews

Listings

I have my Google+ Business Page and my Google+ Local page claimed into different accounts. What do I do?

Keep managing them separately. From Vanessa: “We know it’s not ideal right now, but we’re working to consolidate these pages into a single page where you guys can manage your presence across Google. We’ll keep everyone posted on news in that regard.”

“To be very clear here, we will be combining any Google+ page you may have created with any matching upgraded Google Places listing (what we’re calling local Google+ pages).”

If I have several hundred listings how to I enter them in Google+ Local?

Bulk Upload was recently upgraded and is the method of choice for getting data into Google+ Local. Given its very recent upgrade that is likely to remain the case.

Do you think we’ll be able to create one Google + page for a franchise type business and link it to all of the listings? Otherwise, I fear that my clients will either a) be forced to create (and manage!) 400+ Google + pages or b) Take a huge rankings hit!

We do not yet know how Google will handle this parent child relationship. Google has given a great deal of thought to the needs of large companies in Google + and were slow to implement the needed features to get them right.

They have added multiuser management to Google+ and it appears that it will likely be a feature when the merger of the Business and Local pages occurs.

Based on this evidence I am optimistic that Google will put in place some a way for a large, multi location chain to easily manage both +  and +Local page.

The fact that the bulk upload was recently updated implies to me that these issues were considered and likely already “baked in”.

Do you know if the Google + page is automatically linked when you set it up and find it via phone number?

The claiming process has not changed.

How can I upload Videos?

You can no longer upload videos or use the Post to Place page feature in the Dashboard. So for now there is no way but obviously video is a critical part of Google + and it will be integrated sooner rather than later.

Why does the “See your listing on Google Maps” link in the dashboard not take me to the new Google+ Local page?

From Vanessa: “We’re working to update that link so that it redirects to the new local Google+ page. Stay tuned.”

Is the Google Google+ Local page still considered a search result?

Interesting question that I will put to Google. As it stands today the answer is yes AND no.

The Google + Local pages are indexed pages and are now showing up in the search results as a stand alone result in addition to a pinned result. So in that sense they are a web page and not a search result.

This will create some opportunity to use the page for reputation management and perhaps long tale strategies. They may become more important over time.

But the pages will still be updated automatically at Google’s whim if they suspect bad data and currently include competitors nearby so in that sense they are a Google controlled search result. They do not yet have ads on your page but that seems inevitable.

Can you please explain the difference of a Google+ Page compared to a Google+ Local Page? It seems like a lot of duplicate content? I don’t want to spend time and money creating both for all of our clients if they will eventually merge into one in the future?

From Vanessa: “A Google+ page has all the social features available to Google+ users — Hangouts, sharing to circles, video uploads, etc. A local Google+ page is just a new look to the Google Places listing, minus the social features. Those social features are coming soon, as I mention in my original post above. And as I also said, we know it’s not ideal needing to manage two separate pages.”

How will Google know to merge my Google+Local Page and my Google+Business Page?

From Vanessa: “Be sure to choose the Local category so that we can bring your multiple pages together to create one listing later on.”

How will I know when Google is planning on merging the two pages?

From Vanessa: “Go to this form — http://goo.gl/8apbo — give us you’re email address, and we’ll let you know when we can combine your pages in to a single page — like the ones we feature on the Google and Your Business blog post (http://goo.gl/lhF6S). ”

Where do you find a link for a Google+Local listing if you wanted to report a duplicate VIA the Troubleshooter?

Use the URL you see at the top of the local Google+ page.

Do the Place’s Dashboard Analytics track impressions and actions on the Google+Local Page?

From Vanessa: “activity from your Place page as well as new click and impression metrics on the local Google+ page that originated from Google.com and Google Maps. Metrics originating from within Google+ Local or from searches within Google+ Local won’t be displayed in the dashboard.”

Comment: It is not at all clear to me that blended results are currently being counted in the current view of the analytics so this might not be completely accurate.

Will this upgrade solve the duplicate listing problem?

The backend system that creates listings is largely unchanged. So some problems will persist. Certainly with a new level of trust and verification provided by Google +, additional ways to triangulate who listings belong to may mitigate the problem but this remains to be seen. A possible result is that dupes will be pushed so far out of sight they don’t have the same effect as they do currently.

The rapid fire changes are difficult to keep up with. One has to wonder – why is Google deliberately creating such a chaotic situation? 

Google has yet to learn that change is an anathema to most businesses. The updates occur on their development timeline and that is apparently chaotic.

Hopefully Google has taken the time to resolve some of the under the hood problems that have been so painful (merges, dupes, lost reviews) so what we lose in learning about the changes we can make up in efficiencies down the road. Here’s hoping!

What a mess it’s going to be when you’re trying to manage the new Plus+Places, but your login for each is different….

It would appear to me that the when the new local environment is fully fleshed out there will be multi user management so it MIGHT be workable.

I have a hard enough time trying to get small businesses to adopt Facebook and Twitter. I am concerned that the small businesses I work with will get frustrated with the lack of engagement they see with folks on G+.

It seems to me that the Google+ Local page can be approached with passively or proactively. Your clients will be able to manage it passively much like they do today. IF the Google+ starts gaining traction AND Google starts showing local results in the main SERPS based on that activity then it will clearly be in the client’s interest to engage with Google + (or have you engage in  Google+ on their behalf).

While it complicates things somewhere in the future, it holds out the promise of greater direct affect on business results than either Facebook or Twitter.

If the algorithm is going to continue to include social signals what do you think this means for the all mighty local citation?

At this point the algo has not changed and remains intact. So it plays whatever role it currently plays and will for some time.

Historically in both organic and local, elements of the ranking ago

persist even when new signals are added.  But like all of Google’s algos if Google upgrades it, it will need to handle a range of situations where some business categories have social signals and some do not. In this case, it will be a long time before there are signals in many categories of local business.

I added Google + account, and now I lost my first page indexing.

The two are likely not related. Penalties that we have come to know and love as well as glitches like dupes that cause ranking issues are likely to persist. It is more likely that you are experiencing one of Google’s traditional brain farts rather than a new one

Looks like Google+ Local page is showing only the first two categories that are listed in Places.

That is odd but accurate. It is not clear why Google is only showing two and if that has any significance in terms of ranking.

The “owner verified” designation is also apparently gone. It appears that the listings all have a “Is this your business?” and “Manage your page”.

According to Vanessa Google is working on fixing that.

So what now?

If you have any additional questions, you can post your questions to the Google+ FAQ forum.

 

Google Places Makes a Change , Bye Bye 3rd Party Review Sites! Hello Google Reviews

 

Google-Places
How it was before and what has changed short and sweet. BEFORE google places took website reviews from online websites such as yelp, citysearch, insider pages, demandforce, kudzo, yahoo, and of course google reviews. It then showed a star rating and summed up the total.. NOW it only shows the total and star rating for google reviews.

How this changes the game of online marketing?

(a) a bad yelp review won’t hurt your star rating on google places.

(b) having 100 reviews from demandforce is not boosting your overall reviews #.

(c) companies that only focus on generating reviews for you on they’re website to increase your star rating now have no purpose.

It is important to mention however that even though the star rating algorithm has changed, building a web presence is as valuable as ever. Having reviews on all these sites are great and google did not change ranking. What this means is that  although your 100 reviews are not totally they are still effecting if you show up in 1st page of google places aka the 7-pack A-G listings.

 

For reference here is a news article from Tech Crunch:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/21/google-places-stops-stealing-reviews/

“Google Places looks different. It is cleaner, and there is a much bigger emphasis on user reviews and photos. And not just any reviews from all over the Web, but reviews written by Google users themselves. This should be a welcome change to third-party sources of reviews like Yelp and TripAdviser who have long complained that Google was building Google Places on the backs of their content while at the same time trying to replace them. Now Google Places no longer shows those reviews on Places pages for a specific venue, nor does it count them in the total number of reviews which it shows for each place. Instead, it links to the reviews from sites like Yelp, Zagat, and Citysearch separately and breaks out total review counts for each site. For instance, the Google Places page for Paxti’s Chicago Pizza in San Francisco went from 1,110 reviews to 171 reviews after the non-Google reviews were stripped out.”

 

How to claim your google places page in under 10 steps

This is really simple you do not need a lengthy tutorial..

step 1) go to http://www.google.com/places/

step 2) click on the get started

step 3) create a google account with your work email

basic q & a

q) do i need a gmail account for this?

a) no you do not need a gmail account but if you already have a gmail account you will automatically have a google account.

(personal preference create a new google account with your work email that you use as a main contact ex. info@autostore.com  as the username and remember your google password)

step 4) verify your new google account by checking your emails.. then log in

(note while logged in you will see in the upper right hand side your email as logged in)

step 5)  click on the list your business

step 6) enter your phone number and click find business information

step 7) google will either find your business or not if it doesn’t enter in all the details and you will get a card in the mail to verify.. since we are already assuming google has your map listing and we are claiming ownership instead of creating a new business we will continue with how to claim ownership.

step 8) enter in all the key information don’t worry about videos or pictures for now you can modify them after you own it at this point just add your store hours and most importantly your website. then click on submit.

step 9) at this point google will ask you how you would like to verify ownership phone call or postcard in the mail. a phone call is the fastest and most sought out method so make sure your business phone is in your hand when you verify by phone…. google calls right away.. there is a 6 digit pin you enter under the verification box and your done.

q) i am not getting the phone option did i do something wrong?

a)it appears if someone else tried to claim your listing or if you are in another state or country or if it is a brand new business google prefers to play it safe and verify by mail your listing .. original mail from google looked like post cards and nwo they recently were replaced with actual letters. either way KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THE colored GOOGLE LOGO. mailing time is aprox. 5 days to 15 days depending on location.