For most local businesses Google Places was ‘seen as something you could do’ but with the pace of smartphone development it is fast becoming ‘something you have to do’. The faster search feature on Google maps and the new ‘filter by ratings’ button will mean many businesses with bad reps will be ignored. Keeping an eye on your reviews has never been so important.
Google maps search list the following information (in order of prominence)
Name of Business, Address, Picture, Reviews.
You can filter the results by distance and ratings. Once into your listing the app shows some contact buttons below the first set of details which link directly into your Google places info. Under the contact buttons are more in-depth reviews which are rated with stars and colours.
The first question to ask yourself is ‘what are people saying about my business?’, all reviews come from a variety of sources but these are the main ones:-
direct through Google maps, qype.co.uk, tripadvisor.com, restaurant-guide.com, trustedplaces and touchlocal
Many of these sites allow you to register your business and then contest any reviews that are unfounded and damaging. I am sure that the first defamation case involving a Google Places review cannot be far away so businesses and users beware.
On a programming note, Google have opened up a new API for Google places. Developers building apps that include a “check in at this place” feature can use the Places API to search across all the places users might check in for basic information like business name, address, phone number and other descriptive information. That information will be editable by the businesses listed and no caching of data is allowed, so apps will have to ping Places regularly for real-time data.
You can provide up-to-date information on any location that you user may be visiting which makes for a very interesting location-based world.
If you would like us to advise or help with your listings or you have any thoughts on location based interfaces for your web experience please drop us a line
London Web Design Agency