Due to the reorganization at Google last week, after Larry Page took the helm, there have been TONS of changes at Google Places.  Many of these changes will hopefully improve things for those of you who are involved with Google Places in any way. (As a user or as a marketer.)

ESPECIALLY if you are one that has suffered from Google bugs, problems, lack of support and other Google Places frustrations, you need to read all.

I’m going to try to save my carpal & not write a book because everything is spelled out well in the posts that follow. So will share some brief commentary, then links to the best posts on the topic.

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Google Places Pros Air Problems – New VP – New Hope

In summary, for those that have not read, there was a huge re-org at Google last week. Jeff Huber is the new SVP of Local and Commerce. (Not sure where Marissa stands in all of this)

In the post below over at the Blumenthal blog, many leading industry pros aired lots of concerns about all the current Google Places problems. We also offered G lots of suggestions for Google Places. On Friday I posted a comment over at the new Google Places blog inviting Jeff Huber, the new SVP to read the Blumenthal blog post below. Saturday AM, Jeff replied that he’s reading and is behind improving Places.

Where Does Local Fit into the Newly Organized Google Under Page?

Hi. I’m Jeff Huber. Getting Local search & business experience right is a priority.

I appreciate your feedback on 1) issues/problems we have currently in Local search/Geo/Maps/Local Commerce that need fixing, and 2) any suggestions you have on new or different (preferably innovative) things we should be doing.

I likely won’t be able to respond to all messages, but I am rss-subscribed and listening.

MUST READ ALL THE COMMENTS FOR SOME GREAT INSIGHTS!
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HotPot Melts into Google Places

Next up Google WISELY decided to kill the separate app and the name HotPot and merge it into it’s rightful place as an integrated feature of Google Places.

No one is talking about how huge this is – but to me it speaks VOLUMES.

Have you seen how much energy and how many dollars G was putting into promoting HotPot including major “feet on the street” marketing campaigns? I think it diverted SO MUCH energy and money AWAY from Google Places. Now all those campaigns will be talking Google Places instead and creating more awareness for the total local solution, not just HotPot

Hotpot is going Places – Official Google announcement
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New Google Places Blog

Another signal to me that more energy will go into Places is that now Google Places finally has their own Google Blog. I think it’s just the old HotPot blog with a name change, but this indicates the increased importance Google will be putting on local and Places now.

Check out the new
Google Places Blog

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Hope

In case you missed my previous post, it’s another sign of hope that Google Places may change for the better. Includes really important info I got from a Google Places rep.

Google Places Help – Renewed Hope Google Places will Improve
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There is more Google Places news that just happened too. Local product inventory integration, the ITA deal approval and the demise of QR codes. No time to link to and write about it all. More changes on the way soon too I’m sure.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THIS???

Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Feel free to add other news or good links you find below.