The transition from Google Places to Google+ Local has been an interesting ride for many business owners in recent weeks.
First, it was simply confusing as most people unfamiliar with the change had expected difficulty understanding how it would affect their businesses. Then, the transition was one of ‘we’ll get there when we get there,’ as we attempted to wait patiently for the full migration to occur and all bugs to be worked out by Google. Finally, the ‘you-know-what’ hit the proverbial fan last week as Google’s tech support queue for Google Places became so inundated with questions and immediate concerns, they had to shut down their troubleshooter altogether, leaving business owners scratching their heads in confusion and frustration.
Our team manages the set-up and rebranding of Google Places / Google+ Local listings for our clients as part of our social media product offerings. When we first learned about the change, our response to it was one of optimism. We fully expected that the transition would take some time and would include some technical issues, but didn’t expect too many problems.
Of course, there are always going to be a few bugs, kinks and other frustrating hiccups during such a large transition. However, it is still very disappointing to business owners. For some, it’s more than disappointing; it’s actually having a real negative impact on their businesses.
What sorts of problems have been reported by Google Places users?
- New photos don’t show up on listing page. This is sometimes corrected by taking important steps to edit access to your account, but more often it’s because the updates are taking a month to process.
- New changes of any kind don’t show up on listing pages, including important keywords and the ‘Share an update on your place page.’
- Not being able to select or edit the profile image / storefront image for the listing.
- Listings not showing up anywhere for public viewing.
- Listings merging with other listings, causing confusion.
- Locations are no longer supported by Google, resulting in deleted listings.
The answer to most of the above is simply to ‘wait it out.’ It’s a frustrating response for business owners to receive when they rely heavily on Google Reviews and Maps as a business referrer.
The expected completion date of the transition has yet to be determined.