Google Tries To Kill Yelp, Offers More Tools For Local Businesses

google places

Google couldn’t buy Yelp. So it’s going to kill it by making its local business pages amazing. 

The company announced more tools today for local businesses to have a stronger presence on Google and Google Maps.

Google is changing the name of its “Local business centre” to the less wordy, but equally uninspired, “Google Places.” (Sounds familiar, no?)

In a blog post, John Hanke, VP Google Maps, says “One out of five searches on Google are related to location.” He says he wants businesses getting found easily on Google.

Google’s objective here is to pick up more ad revenue from all these businesses by giving them a place to send people who click on Google search ads.

Here’s the new features it’s adding:

  • Service area: If travel to serve customers, you can now list the areas you cover.
  • New advertising feature called “Tags.” It costs $25 a month for a business to tag themselves. They get little yellow stickies that highlight their business on Google Maps with tags. 
  • Free photos of your business. Google will travel to your business, take nice interior photos and upload them to your page.
  • customised QR codes. These aren’t really popular here yet, but Google is trying to change that. QR codes are those things that look like TV static, but are barcodes. If you take a picture of a business’s QR code with certain smartphones, you get a ton of information on the business. Google suggests putting the QR code on flyers and business cards for users.
  • More favourite places. Google is mailing out a fresh batch of Favortie Places decals, which you may have seen in the windows of certain businesses. Similar to Yelp stickers, or even City Guide stickers if you’ve seen those.

See Also: How Google Is Going To Put The Squeeze On

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