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Google Announces the Launch of Google Places

Constantly on the search for ways to increase its position as the key destination for all information, Google has introduced Google Places. According to the Google Blog, this tool will enable business owners to manage their presence on Google.

Place Pages was launched last September and encompassed more than 50 million places around the world. This application was designed to help people make more informed decisions about where to go for great food and good dry cleaning, as well as non-business places such as museums, schools and parks. It connects people to information from the best sources with real-time updates and offers from business owners.

To date, four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google through the Local Business Center, which enables them to verify and supplement their business information. This page also allows them to communicate with customers and get insights to help them make smart business decisions.

With a new name, Google Places will continue to offer the same tools, but the name simplifies the connection process with Place Pages. New features will also be offered, including service areas; a new and simpler way to advertise; business photo shoots; customized QR codes; and Favorite Places.

Within the past few months, Google has also added the ability for business owners to post real-time updates to the Place Page. By communicating directly to customers, the business can promote a sale, a special event or any other information that may be of value. Coupons can also be added, including those specially formatted for mobile phones.

The personalized dashboard will enable a business to keep track of list performance on Google. The dashboard includes data about the number of times people have found a business on Google, what keywords they used to find it and even what areas people have traveled from to visit a business.

Google research has found that one out of five searches are related to location. The company wants to be sure businesses are able to be found and control the image put forth on the search engine sites.

To learn more about Google Places, Google invites all interested parties to an upcoming overview webinar, or to visit the company’s newly updated Help Center. Google will also be posting on the Lat Long blog throughout the week to give a deeper dive into many of the newest features. To get started now, go to google.com/places.

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