Google Places Vies for Local Search Share<br />vs. Yelp, Twitter, Foursquare

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Google Places Vies for Local Search Share<br />vs. Yelp, Twitter, Foursquare

by Clint Boulton

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Google Places

Google Places is Google's next leg of local search, offering businesses the opportunity to better connect with consumers online.

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Stats

Will Google Places take Google's local search places? Check out the stats ...

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Log-in

Business owners now see this page when they log in to Google Places.

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Place Page

Here is a business owner's Place Page, as consumers see it after clicking through from Google Maps.

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Tags

A new feature, Tags, lets business owners showcase an aspect of their Place Pages that they think best reflects what they have to offer customers. It costs $25 per month and is available in Atlanta, Washington, Houston and Austin, Texas, and San Jose, Calif. Google will be introducing Tags in Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, San Francisco and Boulder, Colo.

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Business Services

Businesses that travel to serve customers can specify the geographic area served. Note the geometric shading here, which indicates where Magic Plumbing will work.

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Google Favorite Places Codes

Google has mailed window decals with customized QR codes to more than 150,000 businesses around the United States as part of its Favorite Places program. Users can scan the QR code decals from stores' windows and doors with their smartphones to find information, including coupons.

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Coupons

Places business members can offer customers coupons through the service.

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Live Updates

Business owners can use their dashboards to leave real-time alerts on their Place Pages, notifying customers of sales and new products and services.

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Business Pics

Google photographers are visiting businesses in select cities in the United States, Japan and Australia to shoot pictures of Places member stores. Pictures from the shoot will be added to a Place Page.

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Dashboard

Google provides business owners with rich analytics with which to keep track of their listings' performance on Google.

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