co Google Local Is Going Google Places |

If you haven’t claimed your free listing in Google’s Local Business Center then you may not ever get to. It’s being renamed to Google Places.

If you’re interested, Frances Mary Krug has the low down on why Google doesn’t have its own domain name for Google Places – yet. You can read it at Search Marketing Standard.

So far, I haven’t seen a whole lot of changes in the way the program works, but I’d expect to see a few down the road. One thing that is new is the ability to define a service area and hide your actual physical address, which is a good feature if you run your business out of your home. You can learn more about this and other Google Places features in this YouTube video.

Google is adding other new features to the service as well, but some of them are paid services. These include:

  • The addition of Tags for businesses in certain cities ($25 charge)
  • Photo shoots of your business
  • Customized QR codes
  • Add real-time updates to your place page (cool feature)

You can learn more about these and other features of Google Places on the official Google Blog.

When you consider how many searches are local (Google says it’s one in five) then having a listing at Google Places makes a lot of sense. Wouldn’t you agree?