Earlier in August Google announced the first stage of merging Google+ Local (Google Places) and Google+ Local Business Pages.
The new verification process does not currently support service area businesses with hidden addresses.
That was hardly surprising, those with eagle eyes would have seen on the video this address…
I full expected my verification postcard to go missing in action.
Hello from Google…
The merge verification PIN arrived, not a postcard though. A white envelope with nice coloured arrows printed on just like the image. Perhaps more interestingly, it had my full address and postcode.
I opened it up and there indeed was my PIN and a link to verify my merged local Google pages.
Given that Google have stated they don’t support service area business merges and the number of issues people have faced with their Places and Plus merges, you may think caution was exercised at this point!
Never being great at resisting clicking a button to see what happened…
A Successful Google Places and Google+ Pages Merge?
It’s now been 5 days since the Google pages merge, and everything still appears to work. There’s been no glitches, or errors, no further missing items or merged data to date.
It is worth noting that I made my address public on my Google Plus Business page (the one edited through Google Plus) and private again after I requested a verification postcard.
The Plus page seen via search is slightly different than the Google Pages managed through Google Plus.
- Photos originally uploaded via the Google Places dashboard show in the search preview but are not available on the Google Plus page.
- Videos disappeared from the listings some time ago, they’re still in the dashboard but not on the new page.
- The “About” section is still the old Places description
Should You Merge Your Google Plus and Google Places Pages?
I am a service area business with my address hidden as per the guidelines. However, Google do state that the merge is not available for service area businesses with hidden addresses.
I would not advise trying to merge your service area Places and Plus pages until Google state that the merge is supported.
The new merged Google+ Local page still requires use of the Google Places dashboard to view stats, add/change categories, add offers (offers tab now available as logging into the Places dashboard redirects to .com, BUT offers are still only available to US businesses).
Just popping into the Google And Your Business Forum is enough to see the shear volume of issues people are having with Google+ Local at the moment, let alone the merge.
That said, if your business:
- has no current issues with Google Places data (wrong data, merged data etc)
- is not a multi-site business or service area business
- is prepared to accept the merge is new, and you may encounter problems with minimal documentation and support
…then why not merge your Local Google pages?
On the blog – video Merging Your Google+ Local and Google+ Business Page
Google and Your Business Forum – Merge Announcement and FAQ
Catalyst Local eMarketing Forum – Google+ Business Merge