Google Places 101

Is your business using every possible Web 2.0 tool out there to get ahead? Yeah, right! That’s impossible, time consuming, and worse – what happens if you invest your time in a fly-by-night tool? Fortunately, this little company called Google something-or-other seems like it’s going places. And one of those places is … Google Places!

What is Google Places?

Like the Yellow Pages on steroids, Google Places allows business owners to list their businesses and allows users to rate those businesses. If you are a small business owner and are scratching your head, know that you are likely already in Google Places. Google has probably collected your vital stats, such as name, address and even office hours off of the internet, but once you log in and claim your account, you can do so much more.

How Do I Use Google Places to Promote My Business?

Google Places is useful to local business owners who might not have a website or who’s website isn’t the most search engine optimized.  First, you can easily add tons of details about your business. Put in a description, add photos, and include your payment methods and contact details, among other things.

And, combining the robustness of Google’s search engine with social media, your Google Places listing also allows you to “announce” specials and promotions on your Google Places page. Need another way to promote that ice cream social tomorrow night? Google searchers looking for “ice cream” in your area will see your Google Places announcement.  You can even put up a printable coupon! And, the places deemed “most visited” in the area by Google Places will received a window decal, much like the Zagat or Yelp stickers found on local venues.

Why Google Places and not

Short answer: Because it’s Google. All of these directory listing feature are well and good, but you can find them on or local search sites like Yelp or CitySearch.  But Google also uses the analytics features it is known for to show you how many people have searched your listing, where they are located geographically, and what keywords they used to find you.  Google revolutionized analytics for web based businesses, and now they’re trying to do the same for their brick and mortar counterparts. Business owners can use the info they get from their Google Places listings to revamp marketing, or even create keyword-based internet advertising campaigns.

Watch out, Google is in the local listings game. If you own a brick and mortar location, be sure to log on and claim your listing.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 8 Shocking Secrets Press Release Distribution Firms Don’t Want You to Know here:

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