Google Now Auto-Merging Google+ Pages Into Google Places Dashboard Listings

Updated 6:30 am 8/21

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 6.43.27 AMFirst spotted on Linda Buquet’s forum earlier today on Monday, Google has announced that they have started auto-merging G+ social functionality into basic (upgraded) Dashboard listings. Here is the Google announcement (bold is mine):

Starting today, some pages managed in the new Google Places for Business dashboard will be automatically upgraded to have social features. We will send out emails to users whose pages are automatically upgraded letting them know. Users who have upgraded pages will see a link to Visit your Google+ page in their dashboards. A personal Google+ account is not necessary in order to utilize social features on local Google+ pages that are automatically upgraded.

If the listing for your business is not automatically upgraded and you are interested in social features, you may be able to use the Google+ widget to upgrade the page manually. (You can read more about the Google+ widget in the update from April 11 on this post — scroll up.)

Please first make sure you follow these criteria:

  • You must have verified your business in your Places account.

  • Your Places for Business email address should also have a  Google+ profile.

  • Your page must be in a category that is eligible for Google+.

If these apply to you, you will see a Google+ widget in your dashboard inviting you to upgrade. Simply click Get your Google+ page to upgrade. This will create a local Google+ page in Google+ that is tied to your Google+ account. You will be able to update this page from both Google Places for Business and Google+.

If you do not see the Google+ widget yet, or don’t have the upgrade link in your widget, sit tight while we work on getting a smooth upgrade process in place for you.

To clarify Google’s somewhat imprecise communication: Google is saying that if you wait and just have a generic Google email or corporate email BUT not a G+ account, your dashboard will be upgraded automatically to be able to have a social presence and video capabilities. My understanding is that if you don’t not post any social content to your stream then your listing will continue to not show the posts tab and likewise with videos.

If you want to to have a social presence for your business before that new capability hits your account you can initiate the upgrade from within the new dashboard if your login email for the dashboard is already a G+ Plus account.

The bottom line is that if you sit and wait your new Places for Business Dashboard will bring all of the social and video features of Plus to your business without the need for an individual to have a Plus persona. You can continue to use a generic or corporate email address to manage the listings.

This is obviously a second, continuing step in creating an integrated system where all listing management can occur from within the Places Dashboard and where a business will have the ability to manage the whole system as a branded entity rather than as an individual, an obvious necessity for large businesses as well as small.

While the listing management picture is clearing up, there are still some questions around how the bulk upload feature set will be integrated into this picture and how a single brand with many locations will be accommodated so to not need to produce social streams per location. Hopefully the wait will not be interminable but this change dramatically simplifies management of listings for both agencies and a range of businesses that struggle with arbitrarily putting one individual face forward as a claimant of the brand.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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61 thoughts on “Google Now Auto-Merging Google+ Pages Into Google Places Dashboard Listings”

  1. Liz

    There are number of different types of Google+ Pages-Local unclaimed, local claimed, local-social, brand, etc etc. Its hard to know what exactly you are experiencing. However you can go the Google Places Help and click on the red Contact Button to have Google call you and help you figure it out.

  2. My understanding is that if you don’t not post any social content to your stream then your listing will continue to not show the posts tab and likewise with videos.

    I know that this was written a few months ago, and things are always changing, but my current observations are that the Posts tab and Videos tab will still appear, even if no content has been added.

    A recent example I am looking at contained both the Posts and Videos tabs even though the owner had not added any content. In addition, they have a Follow button that can divert their audience from their previously established Google+ Brand Page.

    They claim that Google automatically upgraded the listing for their business. Once it happened, they were quite distressed. Since the upgraded listing has a Follow button, if that listing is more prominently displayed to searchers, than their Google+ Brand Page is, their following on their Google+ Brand Page could be diluted as a result of people “following” the upgraded listing that won’t be actively managed (socially).

    As a result, I suggested that they create a public post on the unwanted Posts tab of the upgraded listing, letting others know that this was not an active page and sharing the link to the Brand Page that they have been using all along.

    I recognize that, for many businesses, this automatic upgrade (especially since it does not require a Google+ Profile) is a blessing. But, I do wish that Google would provide owners of these upgraded listings an option to disable the social tabs (and allow them to enable “social” at a later time, if they choose.) Those who mistakenly created a Brand or Company Page when they first got “social” on Google+ would thank them for it.

  3. @Kaleh
    I agree that the posts tab should not show and but at least the other tabs (ie video, reviews and photos) can be removed in the settings area for the page:

    -Show your Google+ communities posts on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile. Learn more.
    -Show these profile tabs to visitors (they’re always visible to you) Learn more:
    –YouTube / Videos

    This is a failure on Google’s part in their push to social without having a good parent/child (brand/location) set up. That being said I could imagine that this might be in preparation of that. Where a brand posts and that post shows on X number of their locations.

  4. If I have never had a places account but do have a verified Google plus business page, do I need to set up a places account? My Google plus business page does show up in Google maps, just not in the 7 pack or 3 pack or whatever they are showing on the first page.

  5. @Norm

    You like do have a account. It is no different in reality from the editing done in the Plus page management area although I personally prefer the layout.

    That in and of itself will not help you show in the 7 pack.

  6. Hi , I looked everywhere for an answer to the followingquestion and I have not found one yet! Could you help me? I am marketing consultant for a driving school in Quebec. We have 26 schools that are listed in a Google places dashboard. I want to have ONLY ONE Google + page for business that contain all of the 26 schools. It would be like having an online head office on Google + Page for business that contain, in the address section, all theaddresses of our schools. Is it possible? Thank you in advance for your feedback.

  7. @Valerie
    Google has said in the past that they will someday support a more sophisticated way of handling a company and its many locations in the context of Google Plus but that just isn’t possible at the moment.

    While you can have a Company Plus Page that represents your company in its entirety, there is no way to not have the location pages.

    I would suggest as a strategy that you create a Google Plus Page for the company, do your posting there and put a post on each of the Location Pages that send people over to that page. It’s a hack but is the best that can be done within the context of Google.

    The alternative is to subscribe to a service like Yext that allows for automated Google Plus postings across multiple locations.

  8. Wow could this be a harder process? Google in 3 years will own me I think. They give me more rules to follow then anyone else on this plant 🙂

    Is what it is I guess

  9. I have this problem: I have created a Google Plus Business page through my Google Places as you say but now I cannot add a link towards my page. So how can I add Google Authorship now? It is not possible?

  10. @Alexandros
    Authorship ALWAYS need to point to your personal profile NOT the G+ Business page. You can use rel=publisher on your website and point it to your G+ Business page for Local.

  11. @Mike, I have tried it with pages (not profile) and it is working just fine. But the pages I have used are not connected with Google Local – Places.

    Could you confirm me that?

    Thank you in advance,

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