With a crazy number of projects launching from Google Chromebooks to Google+, along with a few more clandestine endeavors, it’s easy to lose the less sexy stories in the shuffle. Here are 3 changes that are going to affect your business and search in huge ways starting….now.
- Google+ Brand Pages: Looks like overwhelming demand for a place for businesses on Google+ has hustled Google along on this. Google+ for businesses will be launching before the end of the year with some awesome looking features. Look out for Google+ pages from Mashable, Ford, and others in the next couple of weeks.
- Yelp Reviews: Google continues their fight with Yelp and just recently removed all third-party reviews from Google Places pages. Google says it’s all about local search, some claim it’s because the quality of Yelp reviews has declined, but the bottom line is, no more Yelp reviews on your Google Places page. This is bad for you if you don’t have a bunch of native Google Places reviews already. It’s going to become necessary to get reviews for your Places page if you want reviews to show up on what is most likely one of the top results for a search on your business. Not only that, Google Maps will pull Google Places reviews, so you’ll want Maps users to see sparkling praise of your business, not a blank slate of sadness. Could this also be more evidence that Google Places is going to become part of Google+, as in Google+ for businesses? Maybe…
- Authorship: Further efforts to provide better search results and reward good content has led Google to place some focus on the author’s of that content. It’s in trial mode right now, but Google will display the author’s information and thumbnail image right in the Google search results. It’s easier to see than it is to explain…The benefits of this are many: Instant recognition, instant credibility, and an improved reputation for your blog’s authors that will likely give them a significant boost in social media influence as well, leaving them more powerful proponents of the content on your site. Make sure to get set up to display author information.