Google Places API now returns a google maps url rather than a google+ url


paulg

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Sometime in the last few days the Google Places Details API started to return Google Maps URL of the form for a place:
https://maps.google.com/?cid={cid}<cid><cid>

Where in the past it returned a Google Plus page URL of the form:
https://plus.google.com/{google+ id or name}<google+id or="" name=""><google+ page="" id="" or="" name="">/about?hl=en-US

The URL documentation is here but does not mention the change:
https://developers.google.com/places/web-service/details

The example for the url field has been changed but it uses a different form:
http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid={cid}<cid>

The documentation for url states:
url contains the URL of the official Google page for this place. This will be the Google-owned page that contains the best available information about the place. Applications must link to or embed this page on any screen that shows detailed results about the place to the user.

I have tried the api for about 10 businesses and they are all using the maps url.

Does anyone have any background on this change? The Google+ pages that where being returned are still there but interested in the future of these pages considering google is making it so hard to get to them.

Cheers.</cid></google+></google+id></cid></cid>
 

Linda Buquet

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Good catch Paul, here's the scoop.

Michael Cottam did a post yesterday: <a href="http://www.michaelcottam.com/google-places-api-quietly-divorces-google/">Google Places API Quietly Divorces Google+</a>

Then Mike did a post about Michael's post and added his insights today:
<a href="http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/11/03/google-places-api-drops-g-page-in-results/">Google Places API Drops G+ Page in Results | Understanding Google My Business & Local Search</a>
 

paulg

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Thanks Linda ... thanks for finding those articles.

I wonder what will become of the associated G+ pages? I am not sure why google is making it so hard to access the content on these pages .. does anyone have any insight on why they are doing this?

Cheers.
 

Linda Buquet

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I think they are distancing from Google+. And also they are just taking the data from the page and showing in various ways: In the Knowledge Graph, Local Finder and maps.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for raising Paul. Started and new post and linked to this one:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-duplicates-merges/38231-one-more-nail-coffin-google-local-dupe-research-michael-cottams-tool.html">One more Nail in the Coffin for Google Local Dupe Research - Michael Cottams Tool</a>
 
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So, my BIG question is for all you agency folks - what vocabulary are you now using when explaining to your clients their 'entity' on Google. For example,

"We need to correct your name on your Google+ Local page"
"We need to correct your name in your Google My Business dashboard."
"We need to correct your name as it's showing up on this weird Maps URL over here now."

?

Curious how you are phrasing this now, especially given this recent Places API change.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Miriam,

The Places API change doesn't really change anything for businesses. They'll never know about that. It's just affecting some of our tools and signifies one of the last ties of GMB data to a live ''page".

So since Google is distancing local from G+ I would no longer call it a G+ Local page. And there really isn't any page that a consumer would ever find now.

So I'd call it your GMB data or Local data that shows up in search and maps. I'd stress more that the data we enter in GMB needs to be correct because Google shows it in several places; Knowledge Graph, Local Finder, Maps, etc. And who knows where she'll display it in the future. So Mr business owner it's important we get your dashboard data right.
 
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Yes, I find myself saying this, too, Linda, "GMB data or Local data that shows up in search and maps" and it is a mouthful. :D Ah, for the good old days of the Google Place Page, which sounded sorta like something local. Appreciate you replying. Between this and the hide-and-seek going on with location settings, this has been one nutty week.
 

InfoserveMatt

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We talk about it in the same way. As in, it's a necessary to update your Google+ page details such as posts and cover image because Google still use ranking indicators from active G+ pages.

Also, there's many G+ pages linked from people's websites. So that means people can still see G+ pages! Therefore, just carry on the same until Google completely pull away all of the social features of G+.

As I said, the lack of links on the SERPs has been apparent for weeks now but Google still haven't taken away the almost useless posts and social elements.
 

Linda Buquet

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Also, there's many G+ pages linked from people's websites. So that means people can still see G+ pages! Therefore, just carry on the same until Google completely pull away all of the social features of G+.

As I said, the lack of links on the SERPs has been apparent for weeks now but Google still haven't taken away the almost useless posts and social elements.
What Google has directly told TCs is that even though there are no links to G+ pages as it relates to Local Search - the G+ page is still there precisely for those that want to use it as a social page. So I don't think the page is totally going away or the social features - it's just optionally for those that want to work on a social presence. So it's almost like it's just a separate social page and then the local search part of the page - all that data shows up in other places like the Knowledge Graph.
 

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