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Google First Webinar – Place Pages

In April, Google changed “Google Local Business Center” to “Google Places”.
The reason behind this change is to better connect Google Place Pages with the place where local business information is claimed, entered and enhanced.

There are some additional changes:

Enhanced Listings ($25/month) – now known as tags

Business Photos – free interior photography of the business

Customized QR Codes – are unique to an individual business and “can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials, and customers can scan them with certain smartphones to be taken directly to the mobile version of the Place Page for that business.”

Favourite Places (Round 2)

Google is also emphasizing the ability to add coupons and “real-time updates” to Place Pages.

The company is also doing an introductory webinar for businesses unfamiliar with Google’s promotional tools and Place Pages. There are also a number of “case study” SMB videos on YouTube.

This should be seen as the opening of a new push by Google into the local market bringing closer together its SMB promotional and consumer assets and cementing a local “brand” around “Places.” As an added bonus Google throws in some statistics, a few of which we haven’t seen before:

* More than 4 million business listings on Google claimed by business owners (using the Local Business Center, now Google Places)
* Nearly 2 million listings have been claimed in the United States
* 20% of searches on Google are related to location
* There are 50 million Place Pages
* Place Pages are viewed millions of times each day
* We have mailed out Favorite Places window decals to around 200,000 businesses around the United States

In particular:

* 4 million business listings on Google claimed by business owners; nearly 2 million listings have been claimed in the United States
* 20% of searches on Google are related to location

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