At Big Red SEO, we are often asked what the difference is between Google Listing and Google+ Local. While we agree that this area can be a bit confusing, our SEO team wanted to provide some guidance on the differences in addition to how it can help or hinder your current search engine optimization campaign. Google+ Local is by far the easiest discovery and share tool out there. With this tool, you can research an establishment or company prior to visiting it.
We highly recommend submitting your company to all free directories or review tools, as it provides exposure for your company. Several of the directory listings also provide the ability for your customer to share their experience.
Good, Bad and the Merger of Google Listing vs. Google+ Local
Currently, you may see two types of pages on Google for a single business. These pages will either be similar to a place page with scores and reviews, or they will be Google+ pages with social features. Users can distinguish the pages by the features available. With a local listing, the user will experience an About and Photos section along with a Manage this place button. If the users scroll down, the scores and reviews will be located at the bottom of the page. If you perform an online search for a service, a section of local listings will appear on the first page. If you hover over the Google Maps, a side menu will appear offering you a snippet of the company. If you want more information, you can click on the more info area and you will be directed to their local listing page. Those visiting your local listing can submit reviews directly or read previous customer reviews.
The most recent upgrade of Google+ Local is the integration with Zagat. Users can provide a score based on their structured 30 point scoring system, helping future visitors determine if this establishment is what they are looking for. The majority of users of this tool are doing things such as researching restaurants before dinner or during business trips to find the best steakhouse, as well as providing immediate feedback to your potential customers. If done correctly, your company can gain a large market of new customers if you make one person happy. The bad side is that you have no control over the scoring your company receives, instead you are at the mercy of your user reviews.
411 of Google+
Some businesses may have also created a page themselves using Google+. Much like the local listing, users can identify this type of page if there are tabs for Posts, About, Photos, and Videos. The major difference with a Google+ account is that you do not have an option to leave a review. Google maps has individual user ratings on a 0 to 3 point scale, where excellent has a rating of 3, very good 2, good 1 and poor to fair a lowly zero. They then average those ratings and multiply by ten to arrive at their scores, making overall adjustments in ratings based on user inputs and other signals to ensure those ratings best reflect the quality of the establishment or company.
How Scores are Determined in Google+
Scores between 26 to 30 reflect extraordinary to perfection, 21 to 25 are very good to excellent, 16-20 are good to very good, 11-15 are fair to good and 0-10 are poor to fair. These scores are depicted in different ways. Restaurants, for example, are scored across three areas–food, decor, and service–with food being the primary aspect. When Google doesn’t have enough user ratings on different aspects, they will just show an overall score. An overall score is comparable to a score in the primary aspect for a location, like food for restaurants.
Contact Big Red SEO Today at (402) 522-6468
Need help setting up a Google+ Local account? Feel free to fill out our contact form or give us a call at (402) 522-6468. In addition to providing registration guidance, our Omaha SEO team would love to discuss how to help your company gain the internet exposure needed, while earning those hard to reach customers who are looking for your services.