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Google Retires Places in Favor of Google+ Pages

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Google Places is officially over. Google has replaced the location based search and page results with [URL="https://plus.google.com/local"]Google+[/URL] local pages instead. Many local search marketers have been anticipating this change since Google+ announced branded business pages last year. Now Google's place pages are more social with Google+ and also will have Zagat reviews that will replace Google's star rating system. Google bought Zagat a year ago and is not putting that relationship to use for reviews and rankings of the local Google+ pages.

[URL="http://searchengineland.com/google-places-is-over-company-makes-google-the-center-of-gravity-for-local-search-122770"]SearchEngineLand[/URL] listed an overview of the changes:
[LIST][*]The substitution of the new Google+ Local pages (as mentioned) for Google Places pages[*]The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+[*]The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews (its entire archive across categories)[*]The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)[*]Integration of a circles filter to find reviews/recommendations from friends/family/colleagues[/LIST][URL="http://searchengineland.com/google-product-search-to-become-google-shopping-use-pay-to-play-model-122959#"]MarketingLand[/URL] has some more details on this change. "Today, Google announced that Google Places is being phased out in exchange for a Zagat infused Google+ Local tab that can be found underneath the Games button.Upon clicking on the tab, users will be delivered to recommendations based off of your circles, previous reviews and Zagat ratings:"

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