Local Search

State of Google Places for Business – A Downloadable Guide

By February 13, 2014 8 Comments


[Ed. note: The following is a guest article & PDF Guide written for Local U by Morry Mitrani of SaleAMP.com.]

Download: State of Google Places for Business Guide (PDF) 

Both an internet gateway and a curator of web content, Google’s role in the online arena is undoubtedly pervasive. Yet, given the many changes that Google has wrought in local, it remains important that those who rely on Google for exposure — namely small business owners — seek to understand the manner by which they are promoted. Google Places for Business, a tool developed specifically with the local business owner in mind, seeks to facilitate this process, granting users control of their Google content via a streamlined and centralized dashboard.

The following guide is designed to serve as a primer on the changes this service has undergone and the features it now offers. This information will primarily benefit both Local SEO professionals and small businesses. However, it is nevertheless important that agency members and clients alike realize that their Google listing (and thus a major component of their online footprint) is far more complex than a simple name, address, and phone number. Once this notion is understood, users can leverage the tools Google has provided to transform their Google presence into an asset rather than a liability.

Within the document, readers will find an up-to-date rundown of the suite of services offered through Google Places for Business. The following topics are covered in detail:

  • Basic listings
  • Review monitoring
  • AdWords Express
  • Social features in Google+
  • Google Offers 

The guide relies on several screenshots taken from the dashboard of real local businesses, so as to contextualize each feature through examples of its application in the real world. Additionally, the guide steps back a level to discuss how the process of claiming a Google Places for Business listing can differ from business to business, and delves into the steps each user must complete to ensure that proper account ownership is attained. The aim here is to help all users quickly gain access to the features provided in the dashboard, regardless of their preliminary situation. Overall, this helpful guide is intended for anyone seeking a greater understanding of Google’s new local features.

Download: State of Google Places for Business Guide (PDF)

About Morry Mitrani

Morry Mitrani is the Local Search Manager at SaleAmp.com, a digital marketing agency in Austin, TX. You can find him on LinkedIn and Google+.


  • Melissa Pont says:

    Great guide, Morry! Thanks!

  • Great timing on this. trying to stay up with the latest Google places change is a herculean challenge at times, especially if you are limited on time. Thanks a million for this short but powerful guide. Tossing dimes at you for a score of 10, :-).

  • Morry Mitrani says:

    Melissa, thank you so much! Hope you find it handy.

  • Morry Mitrani says:

    Jason, thank you for the kind words. I know that staying up to date with Google’s local changes is tricky and time consuming, so hopefully this guide is a powerful tool for many. I plan on creating an updated version of the guide when necessary.

  • Kevin Zugschwert says:

    Thanks for the write-up, Morry. The simplicity of the guide is very helpful.

    I do have one brief question regarding the ideal situations for claiming listings:

    You mentioned that in the most ideal situation you would use a domain specific e-mail address to claim the listing, or that it if it was claimed by a non-domain specific e-mail address, you would transfer ownership to a domain e-mail account. Is there a reason for using a domain specific e-mail other than ease of use for the client? It still makes sense if it only for ease of use, I am just curious if there is any value in Google’s eyes for having a domain specific e-mail address tied to the account as opposed to a gmail account.

    • Mike Blumenthal says:

      The value of the domain email is that if there is ever a dispute about listing ownership, Google will trust the domain email more. Also it is usually easier to keep track of and get access to than a 3rd party email for password recovery etc.

      That being said a gmail address works fine. To increase Google’s trust in the g-mail address you can add it to the website for the listing in question. Then when you speak with the support people you can “prove” your authority by showing them that.

      • Kevin Zugschwert says:

        Got it. I had never heard of a domain e-mail adding any value to rank at all, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to just make sure. Thanks for your help!

        • Morry Mitrani says:

          @Kevin you’re very welcome!

          @Mike thanks for the great explanation. We always request from our clients a domain specific email to add that extra amount of authority. However, if they aren’t able to get us one, we proceed with a Gmail address and it works just fine.

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