Local Marketing Source Blog

Local Business Center now Google Places

Announced on April 20th, 2010, Google has changed the name of their Local Business Center to Google places.

This is merely a branding move in our opinion.  We have seen evidence of Google expanding their search capabilities for local businesses since 2005 and the greatest changes happening in the last year.

About year ago I wrote about the local service area challenge.  We called for a solution and basically had predicted that the search engines must introduce this to solve the challenge.  The post resulted in a phone call from Kevin Hagwell, Local Product Manager from BING.  We knew we were on to something.

I find it interesting that the change of the face of the Local Business Center to Google Places addresses this major concern.  With this change, this is was the first promoted feature of this service, defining a service area.  A local business can define a service area now right inside of Google places.  It’s not like businesses are going to skew their service area, therefore what else does Google have to verify and validate this service area?

Well, at LMS we don’t teach you to chase the algorithm.  We teach fundamental marketing principals.  By creating targeted transparency and exposure, a business will thrive on Google.  It’s just marketing, period.  But how does one assign trust and authority to this service area they are telling Google.


Customers leaving reviews leave a footprint.  This footprint over time establishes a service area.  Reviews are tagged with a location, either IP or mobile locations.  Reviewer accounts have authority and have locations attached to them, and their friends, and their friends, and so on.  Active social accounts are darn near impossible to create and maintain without being sniffed out as spam if you are creating them solely for links.

With the introduction of the LIKE button and the fact that the web is a very transparent network with real people, two companies have changed the game.

Google is making businesses better businesses.

Facebook is making people better people.

This is all being done through honesty, transparency and exposure.  And I was taught in school that ethics are rarely found in the business dictionary.

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Written by

Scott Gallagher is a founding faculty member of Local Marketing Source and owner of WON Marketing, Inc. For over 14 years Scott has provided consulting and online marketing services to hundreds of businesses.

One Comment Published

Shelly / 25 May 2010 / Reply

That’s an excellent resource for people to utilize in their local business strategy.

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