As you may have heard, Google+ Local has officially replaced Google Places. Last Wednesday, Google retired Places in favor of Google+ Local, a move that combines local search and reviews.
Google’s main goal with this move is to integrate the social aspect of Google+ into your local business listings on Google. The reviews from your patients on your Places page are being moved to your Google+ Local page. Now when prospective patients click on your office location within a Google map or search results page, they will be directed to that location’s Google+ page, not the Google Places page they would have previously encountered.
We anticipate that some reviews from patients already on your Places page will be reflected on your new Google+ Local page.
In addition, Google also changed its ratings scale, replacing their five-star system in favor of 30-point scoring system where patients can rate your practice on a 0-3 scale.
This is a change for the better. You will have the chance to interact together with your patients and prospective clients, and they will still be able to interact with your practice. We encourage you to embrace the new Google+ Local, particularly because this new platform will allow for these new patient interactions.
“With one listing, your business can now be found across Google search, maps, mobile and Google+, and your customers can easily recommend your business to their friends, or tell the world about it with a review,” wrote Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s VP of engineering.
What do my staff and I need to do?
Be worry free! If your practice has one of our Search services, you do not need to take any action to convert your Places page to become a Google+ page. In fact, just like when Facebook switched your page to Timeline earlier this year, Sesame automatically updated all Sesame Social Members with Facebook pages!
To become even more informed, and for more details on this change, we encourage you to visit the official Google Blog.
What is Sesame doing?
This month, Sesame is proactively transitioning your Google Places page to the new Google+ Local platform.
You can expect to be kept informed as Google implements this new platform. And Sesame will contact you directly should we need anything further from you to successfully claim and complete the conversion to Google+ Local in June.
As they are completed, Sesame will confirm your new Google+ page so that you can continue to direct your patients towards where they can write reviews. And, just like before, new users will have to register for a Google account.