Google Gives Local Business Center New Name, Features
Service area clarifications and promotions should prove useful
Google’s Local Business Center, which has existed mostly for the sake of helping small businesses attract customers, has undergone a name change today, becoming Google Places. It’s gained several new features, too, to make it more useful than ever.
The first nifty addition relates to service areas. A post on the Official Google Blog explained, “If you travel to serve customers, you can now show which geographic areas you serve. And if you run a business without a storefront or office location, you can now make your address private.” Which should clear up a lot of confusion.
Also, Google’s sending out 50,000 more “Favorite Places on Google” stickers to assist businesses in appealing to smartphone owners, and is even offering to photograph the interiors of some businesses and post the results on their Place Pages (you’ll need to apply here for the privilege).
These aren’t entirely charitable acts, of course; Google’s hoping to increase people’s exposure to its brand, earn more advertising revenue, and become an even more central part of the Web than it already is.
Small business owners don’t have to worry much about that stuff, though; just have a look at what Google’s done and consider how it can benefit you.