Is Google Starting to Integrate Google Plus Pages with Places Search Results?

The ever observant Plamen and his friend Stacy sent along a Places Search screenshot that clearly shows a Google Plus Page icon next to a Places search result:

When you click on the icon it shows a Google Plus Page for a different Transmission service.

It makes sense that Google would integrate Google Plus pages with their Local results. What better way to both allow a business to highlight the Page’s presence and incent other businesses to claim their Google Plus Page and keep it updated with meaningful information.

I assume that this is test but it is an interesting one.

(click to view larger)

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Here is the syntax of the url:

http://www.google.com/search?q=transmission+servicing+lexington+ky&hl=en&safe=off

&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=lnms&tbm=plcs

&ei=-PbMTtWiDeXK0AHni8D6Dw

&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=8&ved=0CF0Q_AUoBw&prmdo=1

&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.,cf.osb&biw=1435&bih=721

&emsg=NCSR&noj=1&ei=CvnMTrGUH4Pz0gGZ5DQ

I shared this syntax with Barry Hunter and he noted that through trial and error he determined that removing “tbm=plcs” will remove the Plus image from the link. I am not at all clear on the purpose os the other operators.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Is Google Starting to Integrate Google Plus Pages with Places Search Results? by

27 thoughts on “Is Google Starting to Integrate Google Plus Pages with Places Search Results?”

  1. Thanks for reporting this Mike. Any thoughts as to the ranking impact that a claimed/”optomized” Plus page might have for a local search query?

  2. @Ted
    We are starting to see individual’s Plus pages showing as a citation in relation to a Place Page.

    Whether a Business Page will have more weight than one citation amongst many is not yet clear…

    That being said if Google provides a ready way for a consumer to get to more information that the business controls (as opposed to information that Google controls) in greater depth and with greater engagement that would be worth it just for that.

  3. Hi Mike,

    Very interesting. A question: When I set up my Plus page I associated it with a different email than my Place page. Given what you’ve documented here, is it important to make sure a Plus page is assoicated with the same email as my Place page (your best guess)?

    Thanks

  4. Looking at that search result page I am reminded of the algorithm change of a few years ago whereby Google started returning Wikipedia results at or near the top of search results. The common misconception was that somehow Wikipedia was more relevant than other websites for almost every topic. The underlying real reason was twofold: 1. Wikipedia does not sell or present advertising (they are not a competitor) 2. Moves competing websites down the list.

    From the screenshot above it appears that these changes by Google further moves competing web properties down the list and fills up first page results with Google owned results.

  5. I’m curious if one can link directly to a Place page from a Google+ business page. Not clear to me how to figure out the URL for our Place page so we can add it to our links on the G+ page.

  6. It is interesting that the Google Plus Page “Jim Jennings Transmission” when searched is located in Baltimore–yet the Place’s Query is for Lexington.

  7. @Gary
    To get a link to a Place Page simply go to the page and click on the link icon just above the Map for the permanent URL for your Place Page.

    However, there is NO sense in linking to it. The page is not indexed by Google and from their point of view exists as a search result. You wouldn’t link to a search result in the main search results and it provides no benefit to link to a Place Page. Google associates a Place with a phone and website and a name and an address. They will and are doing the same with Plus pages.

  8. I’m in Lexington BTW – reproduced the search you did, but could not make it repeat on other similar searches. Appears a one-off, even when I’m in the local area logged in or off.

  9. It’s worth noticing that, perhaps unusually, this website has a prominent link to his Google Place page on the home page of his site (upper right). I think this is someone I gave local SEO advice to a couple of years back!

  10. @Scott
    Yes it appears to be one off…I doubt that the result is a function of him linking to his Places page from his website.

  11. I’m shocked & stunned! Seriously folks, if you didn’t see the eventual integration of g+ into Places you haven’t been paying attention.

    I’m reminded of Google’s statement on the announcement of G+ Pages that “currently” Places and Pages must be managed separately. If I were a bookie I would have established an over/under line. I would have set it at 90 days but I think now that the “unders” will win that bet.

  12. @Jim
    I don’t think anyone is shocked but it is interesting to see how they might be thinking about integrating Plus back to the local search results, no?

  13. Still not convinced of the long term adoption of Google Plus for the general public. Seems that all the tech savvy people jumped on it but then it leveled off a bit. The 721 million active facebook users simply don’t need another social media platform. I signed up for goog+ because I’m in the industry, wanted to check it out, and need to keep up on such things. But I don’t use it and don’t really have a need for it. Anyone else feel that way?

    Of course Google will “promote” their own social media platform in their search results in any way they can. But after 3 years of seeing Googles up & down track record of promoting Google Places adoption among business owners and their genuine lack of follow thru with the most basic of fundamental business practices, how am I – or any business owner – expected to get excited about “Google+ Places Pages”or whatever they are going to call it?

    What’s it going to be next – “Google+ Deluxe”?

    Anyone have a good article on the adoption rate of Google+? Thanks.

  14. @Jeffrey

    As I wrote in July, Google doesn’t need everyone in the world for Plus to be a success. At the time I noted that not failing would effectively be one measure of success. They have passed that low bar. Regardless of traffic patterns currently the extra data they are getting via Google Plus and + buttons is also significant in helping them improve search results. A second win in my opinion.

    The next measure of their success will be whether they can provide enough benefit via search to businesses to make a compelling case for them to take up the banner. With the rollout in early November of the Buinsess Pages Google Plus hit record traffic levels.

    The next step in that is the integration of Plus into the search results in a way that provides significant value to both the consumer and the business in a way that generates its own success. They are on their way to that integration although it remains to be seen how useful it is.

    But there is a huge opportunity to become the business social platform of choice in local IF they provide real benefits to customers and businesses alike. I think they see that opportunity and are attempting to gain a leg up there. Imagine a local social business site that is chock full of events, specials, deals and customer interaction. Google is.

    Time will tell but my money is on Google. When they set their minds on a goal they are relentless. Look at their 4 year tussle with Yelp.

  15. Mike, sorry for screwing the layout of the blog yesterday (but it was funny). I should have shortened the URL before. But after the post, I could no longer edit.

  16. Well, I just created my business page for Lexington Ky Real Estate in hopes this is the case. I for one enjoy Google + . I know most of my Facebook friends are unlikely to adopt the platform but I use it more to learn about the latest technology updates.

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