Google's Local Business Center become 'Places'
Google launched 'Place Pages' last September to provide users with more detailed information through the Google Maps service, with locational information such as restaurants and hotels to dry cleaners and bike shops, as well as non-business places like museums, schools and parks. The renamed Google Places now coordinates business listings with this branded service and allows businesses to verify and supplement their business information to include hours of operation, photos, videos, coupons, product offerings and more.
The new features being made available include the ability to define 'Service areas' covered, new advertising options on maps using tags, the option for businesses to request a free photo shoot of the interior of their business to supplement existing photos of businesses, and customized QR codes for use on mobile smartphones, which can be placed on business cards or other marketing materials.
These features are initially being made available to companies in the USA, and in some cases limited to selected cities, but are expected to be rolled out to other countries in the future. Google is also providing more detailed analysis within Google Places that includes data about how many times people have found a business on Google, what keywords they used to find it and even what areas people traveled from to visit the business.