Vanessa and Jade just did a video update about all the new Google+ Local changes. They answer lots of questions and confirm much of what they’ve already posted in the Google and Your Business Forum. However, I just have to tell you that seeing and hearing about the changes, will offer a lot of reassurance and calm some fears as opposed to just reading about it.
So do take time to watch this!

Google Top Contributors were just treated to a super insightful Hangout with upper management Googlers to discuss all the changes and future direction. After learning where this is all going and getting a TON of our questions answered, I feel like I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. After all the future changes are implemented I think we’ll see that some of the core Places problems will be reduced and I am excited about where this is all headed. Yes, there will be bumps along the way – but in the end this will be a much improved solution for all, I believe. SEE SIDE BAR BELOW for more thoughts…

VIDEO – Google and Your Business Forum Wrapup – June 1, 2012

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Learn about Google+ Local and what it means for your business in this week’s wrapup of the Google and Your Business forum (http://goo.gl/kMu6R). Hosted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager (aka vanessagene), with special guest Jade Wang, Google+ Local community manager (aka jadewang).

0:01 Intro: This week’s episode’s all about Google+ Local
00:13 Meet Jade, the Google+ Local community manager
00:34 So what happened this week? New design, new scoring system, what hasn’t changed, and more
2:14 Common questions we’ve been seeing from you guys
2:29 How do I combine my Google+ page and new local Google+ listing?
3:27 What’s the difference between a Google+ page and a local Google+ page?
4:29 What should I as a business owner do?
4:50 Should I create a Google+ page?
5:54 How’s this all eventually going to work?
6:49 Has verification changed at all?
7:17 Has ranking changed?
7:42 Do my customers need a Google+ account to leave a review?
8:06 Should I be worried about this?
8:59 How can I share my feedback about the changes?
9:41 How to flag a review as inappropriate?

SIDE BAR: No one likes change. I was a little anti the changes in the beginning, cuz DAMN I rank #1 for Google Places Optimization! Plus Places is all over my site, all my Advanced training materials are about Places Optimization, all my tools – EVERYTHING needs to change, so I was kinda ticked about the re-branding. But after my meeting with Google I’m pretty excited about what’s coming!

Tons of Google + Local news and resources in the posts below.

Google+ Local Tips, Tricks, Ranking, Live Video from Google and Farewell Places Pages

Google+ Local Launches – Google Places and Google+ Pages for Business Merge