Google+ has recently integrated a new local feature that you can view on the left-hand side menu. The announcement is based upon one little red “New” located beside the word local; yet, this change will have a gigantic impact on your business.
Google+ has assimilated the Zagat expressive 30 point scoring system which gives detailed information regarding businesses to consumers prior to them visiting the business online or in-store, much like a quick review, allowing other users thoughts and opinions about businesses aid in choosing where a person wants to go when they want to purchase an item.
What is Google+ Local?
Google+ Local will allow users to get recommendations about businesses; such as reviews and locations based on their circles. As a user you will be able to publish to your circles your favorite places as well as any reviews you may have regarding businesses. If you want broader opinions outside your circles you will have access to Zagat reviews and summaries about businesses as well as be able to see local Google+ pages to see information and photos about a business within your area. If you used Google Places in the past your content can be moved to Google+ Local, you will be prompted if you want to keep your old reviews and photos, and of course, you will need a Google+ account for this to be enabled. If not, you can still use Google Places, but keep in mind that Google+ users will have access to share, review and rate your business via Google+ Local.
As a user you will be able to search for various recommended businesses within your area, just by clicking the “local” link, you will immediately be shown local recommendations in Entertainment, Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Hotels, giving you instant information on your community and the ability to give your opinion.
What is the Zagat Scoring System?
The Zagat scoring system that is now integrated within Goggle+ Local will impact businesses greatly, already customers are able to write reviews, and now they can easily rate your business on a scale of 1-30, giving people the ease of rating while on the go. Since Zagat was purchased by Google Inc. in late 2011, they have been working to include the scoring system within Google’s various platforms and now they have. You will see the Zagat scoring in Google Search, Google Maps and the newly added Google+ Local as long as you are signed into your Google account. This scoring system changes the way people will choose the business they want to do business with, by the scoring system that is now a huge part of Google’s ecosystem.
How Does the Zagat 30 point Scoring System Work?
All scores within the Google+ Local are based on user reviews.
Google than takes that information, averages them and then multiples it by ten, to calculate the averaged scores.
When using the search within the Google+ Local you may see the scores shown in these two ways:
Google+ Local Shows You the Location
Through the use of Google Maps, you will not only be shown the location of the business on a map, but by clicking the balloon, you will be able to see the actual location.
Google+ Local App
Google has not forgotten that mobile use is on the rise and has created the Google+ Local app so you are able to check-in as well as provide a review or rating in real time.
This major change will surely have an effect on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at some point, we just don’t know how much it will now or in the future, but as we know, Google’s strong suit has always been search, and is the “+1” they have over Facebook.
As we become more social, we are heavily reliant on the opinions of others and even more so from the reviews of our friends and family members, even the people we have become acquainted with online play a valuable role in our decision making, especially when it comes to where we want to spend our money.
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Promotional Director who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin Ryan on Twitter.