Google Local helps businesses get found in Local Search
Google Local Confusion
There is a huge push to Buy Local and Google Local can help. How can your business get found in Local Searches?
Often people use the Internet to research a purchase before actually buying – then they find it locally. Is your business missing out on Local traffic? Is your business in the Google Local listings? Some other names it has gone buy: Google Local Business Center and Google Places.
Update on March 21st 2019 – This Google product is now called Google My Business.
Spring of 2012 the Google Local system merged into the Google+ system. If you were a business that had both (a Google+ Page for your business and a Local listing that matched) then when they merged the two became one. Your Reviews are now on your About tab, your Offers are now in the sidebar, and you can mostly control the content on the page. I say mostly because any changes made are reviewed before being posted – and some are declined.
Update: Google reviews are now in the Google Map platform.
Most businesses did not fall into the above category. Most businesses had one or the other – or if they had both the information did not match. In this case the Google+ Local listing for your business may not be exactly as you would like.
Google Local Fixes
Claim your Google+ Local listing
Change the listing (if needed) to exactly match your Google+ Page
If needed create a Google+ Page for your business.
Verify the Google+ Page
Once Verified the 2 will become one
Why is this important?
Local Search is growing, and Google Local is an important step in local search. Getting local reviews is also important. Reviews now are shared on the Google+ platform. They are also attached to the reviewers Google+ account. They cannot be anonymous anymore. This adds credibility to the reviews you get, as well as insight into the people leaving reviews. Having a Verified business also helps to build credibility and trust online – something that can be hard to come by.
Update: Google + has been removed from the Google products.