Earlier this summer we introduced you to Google+ Local Pages, a new way for users to share and discover local businesses using Google’s social network. These new profile pages were created to replace existing Google Place Pages and added a host of new features by integrating directly into Google+.
However, many business owners also had a Google+ Business page. With no way to merge them, it meant they now had two different Google+ profiles to monitor and update. When your day is busy enough, adding another mouth to feed doesn’t always feel like a welcomed change. If often feels like a headache.
Well, today you get to merge those two profiles. Rejoice!
Mike Blumenthal points us to the announcement that the process for integrating your Google+ Local page with the social Google+ Business page is officially live. Now business owners can take advantage of all the available features while creating a unified presence.
From Googler Jade W:
For those of you that have created local Google+ pages (with social features) — good news! Today, you can become the verified business owner for that local Google+ page.
In essence, this will combine the page you created in Google+ with the page in Google+ Local (formerly Places listing). Your business’ presence across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+ will be unified. You’ll be able to manage this page from Google+ Pages admin. Check out the Meatball Shop for an example of a combined page, with both social features and reviews.
As Jade explains, once merged, small business owners will have one place (and one dashboard) to manage their verified brand presence. To merge your pages, simply click the Verify Now button on the right side of your Google+ Local page. It’s that simple. Sort of.
A few things to know about the merge:
- This is the beginning of what (I assume) will become a much larger rollout, so the process right now seems a bit cumbersome in parts. For example, even if you’re currently a verified business owner on Google Places for Business, you’ll still have to go through the postcard verification process again when you merge your two profiles.
- In order to merge your Google+ Business page the page has to be listed in the local business/place category. If you set yourself up as a brand page, you can’t merge it. In her post, Jade suggests creating a new page and putting it in the right category, however, I’m not sure I’d recommend creating a duplicate Business page for your brand.
- If you only have a Google+ Local Page (previously a Google Place Page) you won’t be able to take advantage of the upgraded experience. You need to have both a Local page and a Google+ Business page. So if you want to upgrade to take advantage of the new features, you’ll need to create a Business page first.
So, assuming you set up your Google+ Business page properly and you also have a Local page, the option to merge and verify is now available. If you didn’t set it up that way, you may want to wait unless the next stages of Google’s rollout are available. Hopefully it won’t be too long.
And hopefully Google will find a way to make all of this seem less complicated for SMBs in the future.
Merge Photo via Shutterstock
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Thanks for the heads up Lisa. I figured this was coming but I’m still surprised that Google didn’t have something ready when they launched the Google+ Local pages.
Great article. There seems to always be a change for Google. I actually liked Google Places as it was and had hoped Google would keep it the same. Now it is about the same as Facebook. To be honest, just seems like they keep doing whatever the other does. How about some creativity?
At least you guys break it all down for everyone!
Thanks for this additional information. Pulling together all of the strands on Google+ Local, Business and Google Places is like a treasure hunt.
If I’m understanding what you’re saying, you can merge a Google+ business page with a Google+ Local page–but only if the business page was *not* created in the Brand category?
I have a Google Local page and a Google Plus page, although I don’t know if the page is a “business” page – how can I find out? There’s nothing on the Plus Page to indicated that I can verify or link it in any way to my Local entry. I’m finding the whole Google Plus Pages vs Google Local extremely confusing.
Hopefully they will smooth out the merging process sooner than later as the process is more difficult than it needs to be.
@Neil…Agreed. There should be an easier way of verifying the business address than sending a postcard? Snail mail in this age? Pfff…
Hopefully Google will allow you to change the Page type if you were mistaken in creating the page incorrectly to begin with. We created a page as a brand and didn’t realize that it would not be able to eventually be linked to our Google place.
Is it possible to convert my exisiting Google + page into a business page. Is my existing Google+ page a Google+ Local Page or Google+ Local page refers only Google Places page?
You can’t modify an individual Profile page to become a business page, but you can use your individual page to create an associated business page that you are then the administrator of.
Google+ Local is the new name for Google Places pages. But to merge a Local/Places page with a Plus Business page, your Plus page has to be in the local category.
I’ve been doing this for local businesses for awhile now and what’s weird is sometimes Google will combine by using a 301 redirect quickly from the old to the new business page URL but sometimes it takes a LONG time as in months. Hoping Google speeds this process up.
Is this process meant to take a while? We’ve a verified Google Places and Google+ Business Page, yet since verifying the latter the Places page seems to have created and merged with a new Google+ Business page which is empty and unverified.
In our experience, it’s never a quick process.
Meanwhile, Google just announced yesterday that they’re making changes to the Maps/Local dashboards to make them more streamlined. Search Engine Land has a couple of helpful articles about it: http://searchengineland.com/10-things-seos-smbs-should-know-about-new-google-places-dashboard-154686 and http://searchengineland.com/google-upgrades-google-places-dashboard-154372
See also: http://blog.autorevo.com/2013/04/google-places-dashboard-update/
I feel like this change is important because people want local search results and this change allows people to get more information about their local business online. Many of the clients that we talk to when it comes to local business need to merge these two accounts and this is a great tutorial.
Google is also auto-upgrading some verified Google Places accounts to Google Local Pages; if it doesn’t happen for you automatically, and you have a verified business, you might see the upgrade option in your dashboard.
If Google doesn’t do it for you, you have an option to make the merge yourself. However, before doing that you have to make sure that your Places for Business account fits the following criteria:
a) You have verified the local business.
b) Your Places for Business email address must have a Google Plus profile.
c) Your Page must be in a Category eligible for Google Plus
If you fulfill these criteria, your dashboard would have a call to upgrade to G+ Local Page. If you see it, click on the button and you are set. If you don’t, wait while Google does it for all the older profiles.
If you require more information, take a look at this post – http://www.leadsquared.com/google-places-for-business-and-google-local/
Wow, 2014 and Google has done nothing whatsoever to simplify the process of merging the Google+ business page with an automatically created Google Local page. Not only does NO ONE like/use Google+, it’s forced upon everyone, is really hard to use, and comes with the prerequisite that, to use it, you have to go in and fix Google’s botched rollout yourself by going through a confusing merge process which doesn’t seem to be laid out ANYWHERE on the entire internet.