Google Maps Adds Events to Places Pages

Update: Here is Google’s LatLong Post on the new feature: Make Google Place Pages your business’ megaphone

A nod to the Tenacious Frog for first spotting this one….Google Maps is now integrating events and the opportunity to display time sensitive information into your Places Page. Businesses can now add events, specials & time sensitive activities to their listing

The information immediately updates the business’s Places Page in real time:

Claerly Google has long had an interest in gathering additional and more granular information at a local level. The ability to create local event information is a feature that Google has included in their Map Maker for some time. The implications of this move are not yet clear.

For this to have an impact and generate significant interest on the part of SMBs, the information has to be visible and actionable. If it is buried like the Coupons, after an initial trial, most businesses will move to other means of announcing events. Currently the information is only visible from within a business’s Places Page. It is not visible from the 7-Pack, the business Onebox, the List view with Maps nor from the top level view within mobile. Since Places Pages are not currently in the index and exist at least two clicks away from the main search results, the information as it is currently displayed will not get much exposure.

Unless Google pushes this data to a more visible level, it will languish in the nether lands of Maps, away from public visibility and will quickly fall from favor. An API would be the ideal compliment to this information as would a mobile app that allows a user to see the what, when and where of these events.

Google has a strong incentive and the power to incent businesses at the local level to share this information. If it is shared and is actively displayed it could alter the playing field for event promotion but if it ends up like coupons it will have little if any affect.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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13 thoughts on “Google Maps Adds Events to Places Pages”

  1. Mike,

    I like your idea for the API and/or have show on the 7-Pack. It’s still a neat call-out feature. I am going to play with it a little. If you get the click-thru to the page it could help with conversions. It’s above the fold and the coupon is now listed below the fold. Nonetheless, I like the new feature.

  2. @Matthew

    I too like it which is why I don’t want it languishing. It is too easy for a very useful feature like this to not get the attention it deserves and then we have coupon deja vue all over again.

    It is real time which in a visible mobile context would be incredibly powerful but until that time it should be elevated in Maps and the 7 pack!

  3. Am seeing this for clients in the US and Canada, so appears to be system wide. Maybe some UK and EU peeps can chime in to confirm.

  4. I just read the previous post you mention, the one about Map Maker.

    This raises even more questions in my mind.
    For instance, I wonder if Google will at some point extend the LBC categories (perhaps sub-categories) to allow for narrower niche information.
    They already encourage businesses to be extra specific in their categories.

    Perhaps with sub-categories they could enable small businesses to add information about specific items in inventory or services available. No doubt some people are searching for ultra-specific keywords.
    It seems to me that they may be moving in this direction as 7-packs pop up for more specific local search terms.

    With the new place page posts, it seems like the LBC is becoming more of a web publishing platform for small businesses.
    It is a bit strange the more that I think about it. Some small businesses might normally announce events on their own blog. Why not just have a way to integrate RSS feeds into the place page? Or at least have it as an option.

  5. @Stever

    I too would like to confirm if it is visible in Europe. I would think that it is everywhere there is a dashboard.

    @Taiyo
    Google needs local data and lots of it for Maps to really work at the street level. At one point in 2006 or early 2007, Google had a partnership with Quick Books so I thought that this more granular information would make its way into Maps sooner.

    It is conceivable to me that Places could become a important customer relation interface between SMBs and customers…real time, feeds…hmm starting to sound like Facebook fan pages…

    Good catch and thanks for the ping on it.

  6. Yes… it does have the feel of a Facebook Fan Page app.

    Would be nice for Google to integrate a “local “Wall” somewhere within Maps or the 7-Pak to give this some run. Not sure exactly how that would work without adding too much “noise” to Maps and 7-Pak results.

    If not, it’s like a tree falling in the forest for business… no one will know about it.

  7. Given the juggernauts that Facebook and Twitter are, I don’t think that Google has the luxury of waiting on this. They need to push it out fairly quickly. Coupons will never define the local space, but real time updates could.

    Seb Provencher even went so far as to suggest that Facebook add a business directory system so that a business could just claim their “fan” page:

    If I was in Facebook’s or Twitter’s shoes, I would move quickly and enter the structured local business listings world by offering pre-populated fan pages (for Facebook) and merchant profiles (for Twitter). This would simplify the entry for SMEs and basically enable a “claim your profile” function on those two social networks. It also would simplify the mass structuring of real-time content (which is very valuable).

  8. @Steve
    Great article, thanks for the link. I missed that one. No one wonder you stop by here so infrequently, you are hanging with a new crowd (businessinsider eh?). :)

    I suppose that you could turn this idea on its head and say the same about Places pages and real time information…if Google started showing Places Pages and the real time content in the index how would things look?

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