So much has happened since the big update from Google Places to Google+ Local – it’s been like a whirlwind. So have not been able to keep up with my forum updates or share all the news as it hits. So this post is just going to be a big mashup of important info – some tips from me, some bugs and problems, some forum posts as well as posts from others.

HOW TO DETECT VERIFIED LISTINGS on New Google+ Local pages – I’m getting this question a lot so thought I’d share something I discovered. As you likely know the new style Place pages no longer show verification status. Simply click the manage this page button. IF the listing is VERIFIED it will go to the page that just has the phone # look up field. If the listing is UNVERIFIED it will take you to the type of page that shows a map and gives you 3 options to either: Add, Edit, or Suspend Listing.

MISSING LISTING? DO NOT SUPPORT? SERVICE AREA BUSINESS?
Still major problems for service area businesses. You may be part of a take down or tech prob (depending on how you choose to interpret it). I’m not really saying much more except IF you lost your listing or have a client that did, read this support email very carefully. This is the email that follows the email that said your listing MAY have been affected by a technical issue. Support Email re Missing Listings. Read carefully, proceed carefully if you find yourself in this situation. That’s all I’m sayin!

MISSING GOOGLE REVIEW STARS KILLS CLICK THROUGH & CONVERSION?
Check this forum post out.

Google+ is destroying my business

“Everything about Google+ seems to be fine if not better than Google Places except for the removal of the stars. Ever since they removed the star ratings, my actions or clicks went from 30 – 60 or more a day to 0 – 5. I am still on the first page of Google for relevant search terms and in most cases I am also the first listing, I am also receiving the same amount of impressions as before, but the absence of the stars has caused an obvious hit on my Google Business Listing effectiveness. Injunction with that, I have seen a drastic decline in business. Is there not a way to compromise and use the Zagat reviews as well as the stars?”

Well you can have your stars if you use Adwords Express. I also had a previous client contact me 2 days ago. (Dentist) Saying he needs to start using AW Express immediately because he needs his stars back. Seems like Adwords Express sales will go up due to the Zagat move. 😉 Mike has a good post and discussion at his blog: Google: We Can Show Stars if We Want to!

IMAGE UPLOAD BUG OR DELAYS – Not totally sure which yet. Escalated to Google and got a partial answer but asked Jade to look into it some more. Keep an eye on this thread for updates: Photos not appearing in Google+ Local listing. 6/14 Jade posted: “Yeah — images are slow to update right now. If you’ve uploaded them recently (trying to narrow this timeframe down), they won’t be live now and probably not for a few weeks.”

WEEKLY FORUM UPDATE FROM GOOGLE – Jade the new Community Manager just uploaded the latest Google and Your Business Forum Wrapup – June 15, 2012 She mentions the image edit delays. Click to see a few more tips and updates and watch the video.

NEW RANKING FACTORS ARE OUT – In case you missed it – David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors 2012 was published this week. TONS of detailed info about exactly what the pros think it takes to rank in local.

GOOGLE+ BUSINESS PAGES FORUM CLOSING – To further prove the integration of Google Places and Google+, the Google+ Business pages forum is closing and everything is being consolidated into the forum I work at “Google Places for Business”. The G+ community manager and Top Contributors are all moving over as well. This is exciting for a few reasons. Just posted this news.
read more here.

ARE YOU VANESSA MATERIAL??? Google has a job ad out for a replacement for Vanessa Schneider AKA Wonder Woman. Them’s BIG shoes to fill! 😉 Need lots of Places experience, now G+ experience too, plus community building and outreach experience. Some have asked, what about Jade? Don’t worry, she’s still around, the team is just growing! Which is awesome and shows increased commitment to LOCAL! 1+ Google!

An Updated Step By Step Guide for the SMB to the Google + Local Page Transition – Mike offers some great tips and lots of good discussion follows.

Local University Advanced – Insights from Leading Local SEO Pros – In case you missed it, some extremely important insights from Joel Headley of Google and some great tips from other local pros.

Site audit: How can a local limousine service get found in dozens of cities? How can it stand out in the crowd? – Great case study and tips from Kathy Long.

WORK WITH DRs, DENTISTS, CHIROPRACTORS or ATTORNEYS??? Stay tuned… working on a big story that could affect the way you handle client listings. Hope to publish Monday or Tuesday.