Wow! This is Daily Golden Nugget #500!
I can't believe I've been writing these for 500 weekdays straight. In calendar days that's 697, and definitely qualifies me as a professional blogger.
I was inspired to start the daily Golden Nuggets while I was traveling around France. While there during July 2010 I was using my iPhone 3 to navigate, find restaurants, read reviews, and even leave my own reviews.
Back in December 2009 Google mailed out door signs to 100,000 businesses whose Google Local Business page was popular. These door signs included a QR Code, not that anyone in the USA knew what a QR Code was at the time.
In France, what surprised me was the number of small shops all around the country that I found with one of those December 2009 Google Local QR Code door signs. Each one of them also appeared very prominently on my iPhone map.
After the 3rd or 4th one I saw I knew I need to sit down and blog about Google Local Business Center. My jewelry customers needed to know how this worked!
Google's services are ever changing. This business listing feature started as Google Maps, then Google Local (Beta), then Google Local Business Center, then Google Places, and the most recent incarnation is Google+ Local.
Each change meant new research and that's why there have been so many Nuggets about this topic.
Keeping with tradition of writing about this topic every hundredth Nugget, let me tell you about the massive changes to Google Places and Google+ Local.
First, you need to know that Google Places doesn't exist anymore. In the past, Google simply changed the name and moved some features around on the screen, but this time they killed Places and merged it into Google+, and they call it Google+ Local.
For the moment, editing the Google+ Local page is still the same as editing your old Places page. To do that you go to http://www.google.com/places/ and click the Get Started button to log in.
I've heard a few people criticize Google+ recently saying "no one uses it." I've noticed that different communities of people use it, but it's difficult to balance your time between Facebook or Google+.
Now that Google's merged + and Places I expect that more people will "fall into it" so to speak.
Google+ Local began rolling out on May 30, 2012. Since that day,most local searches are directing to the new Google+ version of the Places page. The new interface is open and easy to learn. I suspect that Google hopes to lure people into G+ with this. Google Places was an important part of online search. Now everyone will be forced into Google+ if they want to continue using it.
Even though this new user interface looks nice, the old Google Places page allowed a lot more information for you to upload and display. I was hoping we would get these features back, but we didn't.
The new G+L layout includes all the important information, like you address, hours, 200 character description, your selected business categories (I suggest Jeweler and Watch Repair Service), and your website.
For the moment, go search for your jewelry store in Google and look at your new G+L page. Then edit your information through this URL: http://www.google.com/places/
There's an important change about the way Google's doing their ratings now. I'll cover that on Monday.