Aug 162012

Jade Wang of Google posted a very necessary and awaited thread in the Google and Your Business forum, which provides tips on what business owners and brands should do while Google is rolling out the functionality to merge the Google+ Local pages with the Google+ Business pages into Google+ pages (yes, I know). Here is what Jade suggests:

Should I verify?

  • Storefront business with a page in Google+ (under the local business/place category) who are using it regularly: request verification. You will need to get a postcard sent to your business address and enter the PIN. Then, manage this page using the Google+ pages admin. Do not use the Google Places for Business to edit after verifying in Google+.
  • Verified owner in the Google Places for Business: continue to manage your information from the Google Places for Business dashboard and please wait for further instructions. We are working on a smooth upgrade process for everyone.
  • New storefront businesses: (not verified on Google Places for Business) you may create a page in Google+ (under the local business/place category) and go through the verification process. Then, manage your page through the Google+ pages admin.

What if I’m a …

  • Service area business with address correctly hidden: the upgraded (merged) local Google+ pages are not currently supporting service area businesses. Please continue to manage it via Google Places for Business and hide your address as necessary, detailed in the quality guidelines.
  • Big brand or business with multiple locations: There is no way to link a single brand page to multiple local Google+ pages. Continue to manage your brand page in Google+, if you already have on. To manage your locations, continue to use use the Google Places for Business dashboard.

I have a sticky situation…

  • Created a page in Google+ in a category other than local business/place? Only +pages in the local business/place category can be verified and merged with a Google-generated local Google+ page. There is no way to change the category of +pages. You may create a page in the local business/place category and verify that if you’re not currently verified in Google Places for Business. We will not be able to move your followers or content.
  • Data issues? continue to use Edit business details to resolve these issues. Please do not attempt to merge or verify a page with data issues.
  • Someone else verified your social local Google+ page? Please make sure it isn’t a Google-generated page. If you’re sure it’s a social page, you can learn more about admin rights here.
  • Someone else verified your Google-generated page? You can also request verification. Any Google-generated pages can be verified by any account in Google Places for Business. If you suspect that someone else is adding incorrect information to your Google-generated page, use this troubleshooter.

Ever since the verification option was announced, there were many discussions, specifically if one should urge to pass through the route of this merger yet. The main concern is that the full spectrum of functions is apparently still being worked on and rolled out gradually. As you could understand from Jade’s answer, there are a very significant number of businesses that cannot actually verify their Google+ pages for one reason or another. The only ones, to whom Google gives green light, are storefront businesses that actively use Google+ for marketing, and storefront businesses that are new to the world of Google local.

  2 Responses to “What to Do While Google Upgrades the Google+ Local Pages to Google+ Pages”

Comments (2)
  1. Thanks for the update, Nyagoslav!

    Just curious: what’s your suggestion? What would you tell the business owner who says “Umm, OK, that announcement was sorta helpful, but what should I do now?” I’ve seen this announcement posted elsewhere (obviously), but I and certainly others come here for your unique take and insights.

    My take is it’s not worth merging at this early stage. Even for bricks-and-mortar businesses. I haven’t done so for my clients. Too iffy. Sure, having the ability to post on your Google page would be nice to have sooner rather than later, but Google does not have a good track record of getting these early rollouts right.

    • Phil, these are pretty much exactly my thoughts. Google seem to have adopted the “issue early, update often” style, which is not the best choice in many cases, but I guess that’s what severe competition does.

      I think if a business wants to be an early tester of this, that would be fine. But as Jade pointed out in her post, unless the business is a frequent user of the Google+ Business pages social functionality, they should rather sit tight and wait for updates. Not to mention that obviously a large part of the companies of all sizes do not even have the chance to try it right now. Situation looks worst for businesses that have previously created their business pages in a category other than the “local business” one. Judging from the trend, I suppose they’d not be able to merge their pages… Now imagine a brand that obviously didn’t choose that category, and probably has some serious community created on G+ already :)

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