Google Plus Separates from Google Local – My Business

Kristen Ewen

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November 30, 2015

Google Plus Separates from Google Local – My Business

I often get asked: What is Google Plus and do I need it?

Our answer was always YES you need it and it serves several purposes. However, with all the recent changes to Google Plus, it has become just another social media tool specifically focused on content sharing and micro-blogging.

Prior to the recent changes, Google Plus Business pages allowed a business to display some high level information about who they are, what they do, where they are, the areas they service, and get customer reviews. It also allowed for a way to create links back to a website via micro-blogging. It was a one stop shop, it even linked up automatically to a YouTube channel for your business!

It seems as though the Google Plus pages originally did so much that Google was having trouble creating a clear message of “WHAT IS” Google Plus.

Last week, Google introduced a new design and focus for this product. As per all things Google, the focus is now strictly content, content, content. Google Reviews and Local Business information have been removed from the layout. This does not mean you can no longer get Google Reviews; it just means you have to go through a different process to get them.

For those of us who really rely on our reputations to grow our businesses, requiring extra steps and different processes to get reviews can be a change that causes concern.

How do I find out what my new Google Plus page looks like?

  • 1. Go to Google Plus
  • 2. Search for your business name in the top search bar
  • 3. Select your page from the list (shown on right)

The page is still using the Google Plus profile image and banner image. Those of you with text on your banner image may need to make adjustments to fit the new design.

The new layout has the profile image and Google Plus account name in the bottom left with the option to follow to the right. Below the banner image are all of the posts made to this Google Plus page in a card style layout.

It almost feels like a combination of the previous Twitter layout, Pinterest card style content and the flow of Facebook.

So on to the big question…What do we do now for reviews?!?!?!

The reviews, removed from Google Plus pages, are now only accessible via the Google Search and Google Maps tools.

Until Google decides that the Google Local – My Business Listings deserve more info and a page style system of their own, what you see in search or maps is what you get.

This split has created a few more steps for your customers to leave reviews. Providing your customers with links to your reviews and step by step instructions are going to be critical.

To receive Google Reviews from search please follow these steps:

  • 1. Search for your business on Google.com
  • 2. If you have a Google My Business account your and things are configured correctly your business card should appear at the right of the search. If your card doesn't show do a search for your company name and address. That usually helps as this information is now on Google Local.
  • 3. Click on the gray arrow to show more information
  • 4. Click on Google Reviews next to the star rating or the "write a review" button on the right hand side of the business card.
  • 5. This will bring up a pop-up window for the reviews.

**Tip: Send your customers a link to your reviews to make sure that they can find you page quickly and easily. Copy the entire long url in the address bar once you have the review popup showing and send that exact link to your customer.**

To receive Google Reviews from Google Local please follow these steps

  • 1. Search for your business on Google Maps / Google Local
  • 2. Click on the correct business on the left side of the screen
  • 3. The business card will appear on the right side of the screen
  • 4. Click on Google Reviews next to the star rating or the Write a review button on the right hand side of the business card.
  • 5. This will bring up a pop-up window for the reviews.

As always with reviews the more proactive you are and the easier you make it on your customers, the better chance you have of getting the great reviews that you have worked hard to earn. 

About the Author

Kristen Ewen

Kristen Ewen

Kristen brings a balance of industry knowledge and website development in project management to PMW. She has been designing and developing websites since 2001 and began focusing on the property management industry in 2009.

Kristen's passion is detail in customer experience. She said, 'We like to make your website feel like you are walking into your office'. She has two beautiful children, Emily and Eliza.