Google+ Local: A Zagat-Powered Local Business Booster

There has been chatter over the past couple of months about whether or not Google+ is a ghost town, but one thing remains certain—Google still has big plans for the social network and keeps adding features. On May 30, Google provided Google+ users free access to 35,000 Zagat scores and write-ups of local businesses recommending where to eat, drink, stay, shop and play worldwide.

When Google purchased Zagat in September 2011, it was intended to serve as the "cornerstone of its local offerings," and this appears to be the next phase for the product. 

The new feature, called Google+ Local, enables users to make their own recommendations and see evaluations from the official Zagat guide as well as from others in their Google+ Circles. These reviews are integrated into Google's search, maps and mobile features—creating one simple experience across the Google universe. Each place seen in Google+ Local will now be scored using Zagat’s 30-point scale, which rates the various aspects of a place, including food (if it's a restaurant), decor and service. 

"With the release of Google+ Local, we are bringing the community of Google+ to local business owners around the world. We aim to improve the way people discover new businesses, rediscover places they love and share them with their friends across the Web," writes Jen Fitzpatrick, VP of engineering at Google, on the Google and Your Business Blog. With one listing, businesses can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and customers can easily recommend businesses to their friends or tell the world about it with a review.

Business owners and managers should continue to manage their information in Google Places for Business, writes Fitzpatrick, who says to hold tight for news on how to link a business' local listing to its Google+ page. From there, they will still be able to verify basic listing data, make updates and respond to reviews. 

Whether or not Google+ is a gold mine for user engagement, a Google+ brand page creates one business identity across Google's dominant search, maps and mobile features—reason enough for local businesses to solidify their pages. 

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg

To learn more about using social media for PR programs, attend PR News' two-day a
ttend PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event June 21-22 in New York City. 

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

$150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

socialmedia201602-180x150Join PR News in Huntington Beach, CA on Feb. 26 for the Social Media Summit, where you'll be immersed in real-world, tactical case studies from brands, nonprofits and agencies and get takeaways in pulling and analyzing social media data; emerging social platforms and apps and so much more. 

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 o the regular rate.

$50 off the CSR & Green PR Guidebook

csr_vol7_print_digital-thumbPR News’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook, Vol. 7 captures best practices in communicating the positive relationships that organizations are building with their communities of interest. This six-chapter guidebook connects the dots between the effective communication of positive social contributions and corresponding improvements in bottom lines.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.