Google Begins Auto-Upgrade of G+ Local Listings to Google+ Business Pages


Linda Buquet

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Remember all those times here and in training I've said wait -don't merge your Google+ Local listing with Google+ and pointed out that Google was still saying wait, don't merge as well? This is why and this is where we are heading...

Google has started to automatically upgrade local listings that have the new Places for Business dashboard into full Google+ Business pages with all the social and video features.

You don't need to verify again or create a G+ page or even click the G+ widget. You no longer even need a personal Google+ profile for it to happen. And you don't need to worry about the accompanying glitches that came along with the merge process on some listings. Google is automatically upgrading the page to add all the social features for you!


Reports started coming in here at this forum from folks that were getting the auto upgrade. Google had been gradually starting to upgrade some listings but had not announced it yet. So I told Google that you guys were letting the cat out of the bag and they should probably confirm what was up.

So Jade posted the following update at the Google forum in the sticky about the new dashboard.


More details about the improved look and feel of Google Places for Business


Update - August 20

Starting today, some pages managed in the new Google Places for Business dashboard will be automatically upgraded to have social features. We will send out emails to users whose pages are automatically upgraded letting them know. Users who have upgraded pages will see a link to Visit your Google+ page in their dashboards. A personal Google+ account (profile) is not necessary in order to utilize social features on local Google+ pages that are automatically upgraded.

If the listing for your business is not automatically upgraded and you are interested in social features, you may be able to use the Google+ widget to upgrade the page manually. (You can read more about the Google+ widget in the update from April 11 on this post -- scroll up.)

Please first make sure you follow these criteria:

You must have verified your business in your Places account.

Your Places for Business email address should also have a Google+ profile.

Your page must be in a category that is eligible for Google+.

If these apply to you, you will see a Google+ widget in your dashboard inviting you to upgrade. Simply click Get your Google+ page to upgrade. This will create a local Google+ page in Google+ that is tied to your Google+ account. You will be able to update this page from both Google Places for Business and Google+.

If you do not see the Google+ widget yet, or don?t have the upgrade link in your widget, sit tight while we work on getting a smooth upgrade process in place for you.

(Bold, underlines by Linda to help clarify)
So there you have it. A confirmation that auto updates is where we are heading and that's all the info there is at this point. Again, if you don't have the Google+ widget or upgrade link yet, just hang tight.

Folks have been getting confused about what they feel is contradictory wording about the personal profile. I agree the way it's worded is confusing and have had to clarify it a couple places.

Basically if you wait until you are automatically upgraded, no personal profile needed. If you want to manually upgrade before then, one is needed.

Here is the corresponding help doc.


And here is a copy of the email that's going out, compliments of Matt Cheah in the other thread.



And here is Mike's post about it: Google Now Auto-Merging Google+ Pages Into Google Places Dashboard Listings

I'm calling this an upgrade not a merge. Because a merge would be if you already had 2 pages and they were merged together. In this case there IS no G+ page, your listing will be automatically upgraded into one.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

If everyone has one page - the same page... it eliminates all this crazy branding confusion with all the page names for one thing.

Plus you don't have to merge or verify or upgrade, with the associated bugs that process had.

This will make everything so much easier for everyone - consultants and business owners alike!

One page - the same page for all! Then it will simply be a matter of whether or not you choose to use the social features.


I'm sure this will create lots of questions and what ifs... as I get more info I'll be sure to update you guys. Ask any questions below and I'll see if I can get answers from Google for you.
 
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I asked this question on Mikes blog and he gave me an answer that I was already thinking about doing. I just want to get another experts opinion on this.

We have a Places page (old dash) claimed in a gmail account.

https://plus.google.com/112095070355993288217/about?gl=US&hl=en-US#112095070355993288217/about

We also have a G+ bus page created in a different gmail account.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/108279837995132600805/108279837995132600805/posts

1) Once we get upgraded to the new dash can we merge it with our current G+ bus page even though its in a different account?

2) If not, when we get upgraded to the new dash and G auto upgrades our listing (as mentioned in this post) should we just delete our original G+ bus page?

3) How will this affect authorship and publisher markup? We have both set up on G+?
 

Linda Buquet

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We are in the beginning stages of these changes where no one knows the answer for sure.

But my gut tells me the same thing Mike advised.

Except I'm a little torn because 45 people do have that page in circles. So if it would be hard to replace those folks, instead of deleting it now as Mike suggested, maybe just wait to see if Google offers solutions or advice.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Thanks for this great post, Linda!

I really like where Google is going with this. I'm not surprised at all.

We currently deal with some clients that are part of a large corporation that doesn't allow them to have G+ business pages, mainly because of the social features. So it will be interesting to see how they react to this news once we present it to them.
 
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We are in the beginning stages of these changes where no one knows the answer for sure.

But my gut tells me the same thing Mike advised.

Except I'm a little torn because 45 people do have that page in circles. So if it would be hard to replace those folks, instead of deleting it now as Mike suggested, maybe just wait to see if Google offers solutions or advice.
The reason that I think it should be done now and not wait are the following:
1)He has NO posts thus no content that could generate search results would be lost.
2)I assumed that the 45 followers were known to him or otherwise reproducable and could be recreated once he started posting real content. I would only worry about these 45 if they were truly local followers that would in affect highlight his content via search to other potential local shoppers. Followers in and of themselves are not that valuable unless they serve that function.
3)Google does not deal with edge cases well. Even if they do come up with a solution it is likely to be kludge and cause more problems.
4)Being an edge case means that it will be a significant amount of time before Google deals with it. That is if they ever deal with it. Google does things at scale and once you are outside the main stream you are not a primary target to experience a solution.
5)Delaying the deletion of the page will delay the ability to achieve a clean upgraded solution once his dashboard is upgraded.

My attitude is to give Google what they want and work from a clean slate. That way there is significantly less chance that something will go wrong.
 
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Good points all Mike.
For me, the question revolves around those 45 followers. We don't really know who they are or how they found Mr Cordova's profile. Without that info it is hard to make a definitive recommendation.

But assuming that they are other lawyers, employees or other "non local" entities
were the points I made good enough that you would suggest the deletion path?
 
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Linda & Mike - from what I've been reading you guys have been saying that if you want to merge manually, you'll need a personal g+ profile. However this isn't consistent with what I'm seeing. Is this just a recommended practice? or are we saying that you HAVE to have a personal g+ profile?

We don't set up G+ profiles for any of our clients but we do have the option of merging them manually, as seen here.

If I had created a personal profile using this email, the name of the profile would be showing and not the email, correct?
 
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It was a recommended practice that facilitated the machine matching things up.

Now however, a new class of G+ poster has potentially emerged: a business with a generic email and no persona attached.
 

Linda Buquet

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Linda & Mike - from what I've been reading you guys have been saying that if you want to merge manually, you'll need a personal g+ profile.
It's not what I think or say. I'm only repeating what Jade said above . Beyond that I don't know.

I've been helping daughter and her family as she's gone through a series of medical procedures over the past month and now yesterday another surgery, so am feeling a little distracted and out of the loop too. So about all I can do right now is reply as I have time and pass on what I learn. (But my brain is not really here half the time due to worry.)

There are still a ton of questions with all this so I don't have an answer for what you are seeing Matt.

Mike I so appreciate you weighing in when you can, because as always you have the best insights on these issues.
 

Linda Buquet

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For me, the question revolves around those 45 followers. We don't really know who they are or how they found Mr Cordova's profile. Without that info it is hard to make a definitive recommendation.

But assuming that they are other lawyers, employees or other "non local" entities
were the points I made good enough that you would suggest the deletion path?
Well that's why I cushioned it with room for his judgement, based on the situation.

But my gut tells me the same thing Mike advised.

Except I'm a little torn because 45 people do have that page in circles. So if it would be hard to replace those folks, instead of deleting it now as Mike suggested, maybejust wait to see if Google offers solutions or advice.
But 45 followers does not seem like a big deal. I only said that if by chance it was really hard to get those 45 or they would be hard to replace or the attorney would have a fit if he had to start over. But then after I wrote that I saw him say on your blog, he'd just delete the page so seems it's not a big deal.
 

Linda Buquet

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3)Google does not deal with edge cases well. Even if they do come up with a solution it is likely to be kludge and cause more problems.
4)Being an edge case means that it will be a significant amount of time before Google deals with it. That is if they ever deal with it. Google does things at scale and once you are outside the main stream you are not a primary target to experience a solution.
5)Delaying the deletion of the page will delay the ability to achieve a clean upgraded solution once his dashboard is upgraded.

My attitude is to give Google what they want and work from a clean slate. That way there is significantly less chance that something will go wrong.
Totally agree and see your point about edge cases and the fact they aren't handled well in most siutations. The above case I don't consider to be an edge case. It's not a weird business specific issue. It's something that's likely going to be an issue for a decent percentage of businesses.

Just want to bring this up, more for Google who is hopefully reading this thread.

I think there will be a lot of businesses that already created a G+ page but have not yet merged. That was the advice many, including me, have given and even Google has said, if you want to do social now, go ahead and create a G+ business page, just wait and don't merge yet.

Google also in the past has said it did not matter if the pages were in different accounts.

So there are going to be some G+ Business pages that maybe even DO have lots of posts and followers.

So Google will need to address the issue and either tell folks how to merge those. OR come right out and tell them they need to delete and start over, in spite of previous advice. OR Google will need to be sure if the Place page is auto-upgraded it does not create a duplicate G+ page.
 
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