Google has been on the warpath since 2010 and transitioning itself as the leader in search engine and social technologies. Just like in a real war, there are winners and losers and some really cool services are coming to an end. Google Places just received the axe and this change will affect millions of businesses around the world. A coveted placement in Google search for a business listed in Places was an easy way to get traffic for an offline or online business. Now that Google Places closes in favor of Google+ local targeting traffic is now more important than ever.
What is Google+ and How it is Used
Google+ is the next generation of social media for Google. You don’t have to spend your time going to a third party website, creating and account and logging in each time you want to post something. Google+ works if you have a GMail account. The good thing about working with Google is that you don’t need to download anything and signup takes seconds. If you want the learn everything you ever wanted to know about Google+, our very own Ryan Bush wrote this book to help you.
Circles are what “friends” lists are to other social media websites. It’s easy to add people to your circle. Any business or individual website owner can make excellent use of personal circles of friends and associates. Communication is broadened and Google will actually index the data that is listed in your created circle. This is great for Internet marketing and branding your company or website.
Forget one-on-one chatting with Skype or Google Video chat when Hangouts allow up to 9 people at once. Creating a hangout is an easy way to have a webinar, Q&A or other conversation that involves the use of video. You can pull members from your Circle and have an instant conversation or invite a group to join your Hangout. It’s becoming clearer why Google disbanded Places.
Adding reviews, photos and links to websites are just a few of the things that can happen with + Local. If you have a listed business phone number, it’s all you need to create your + Local account. It is important to use a GMail address that you setup for each business that you own. A professional listing is preferred and helps to kick start your online branding. This is the entire idea behind + Local.
List of Other Services that Google Has Now Discontinued:
• Google Buzz
• Code Search
• Numerous Webmaster Tools
• Open Directory Project
• Google Checkout
It’s clear that Google is out for world domination after witnessing the changes in the last 2 years and the dreaded Panda and Penguin updates. If you have not jumped on the Google bandwagon yet, you might want to consider getting in while you can to take advantage of all the free stuff that you can use to promote your business, products, services or website. If you learn to play by Google’s rules, you should have no problems dominating this search engine for years to come.