Google Places and Google Plus
If like me, and our clients, you've tried digging around for some answers about Google moving the places listings over to Google Plus, then you'd agree it's very confusing having to sift through about 20 or so different help pages. So, I thought I'd take all that information and stick it all in one place for easier reference and somewhere I can send people, there's also a PDF version you can download here.
One of the main things worth keeping in mind is having a 'page' for your business and a 'business listing' are two separate things unless you go through the verification process to merge them.
What happened to Google Places?
As a business owner, you can still use Google Places for Business to manage your business information. Your customers, however, can now rate, review and upload photos through Google’s new local search experience, Google+ Local. If you have created a presence in both Google Places and Google Plus you will find how to merge them later in this article.
Now when users search for your business, instead of seeing a Place page, they’ll go to a local Google+ page. Information you manage in Google Places for Business — like your business’s website, location, and hours — will appear on the Google+ page. If you need to revise any information, just sign in to Google Places for Business and make edits like you normally would. These changes will update the Google+ page for your business.
We know many of you are eager to take advantage of the Google+ features that enable you to directly connect with customers, such as posting, Hangouts, and Circles. Soon Google will be launching some further updates to bring these more seamlessly to local businesses.