Local searches showing sitelinks.

A few weeks ago we met with Amy Ravit Korin and Ashley Glassman of Google+. Our SEO specialist Alex wrote about that meeting in his blog post Why Businesses Should Use Google Plus Local. Amy and Ashley talked about Google’s migration away from Google Maps/Google Places over to Google+ Local/Google+ Pages. They told us that in about a year Google expects to have fully migrated the data to Google+.

We continue to see evidence of this migration. Search Engine Results Pages (“SERPs”) have been showing links to business Google+ pages. If a business has Google+ reviews, the current review score is displayed. For example, here are the local results for “running shoes:”

Local search results for running shoes

Notice how the two bottom reviews do not show the new 30-point Zagat score. This is because the old Google 3-point reviewing system does not transition over unless someone manually re-publishes their old review.

If a newer business shows up, only a link to their Google+ page will appear:

Search results for riverfront theater chicago

In this example, I was logged into Google when I performed the search for “riverfront theater chicago”. Google recognized that I was logged in and encouraged my use of Google+, asking if I would like to write a review for the location.

Even though Google+ Local is still transitioning, Google’s integration of Google+ into search results will probably increase as time goes on. If you’ve got a business with a brick and mortar location, we highly recommend you claim your listing. Doing so will allow you to better manage your business’ profile on Google.