Grrr... Google Removes all Links to G+ L Page from Map Listings!


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It always seemed odd to me that when you found a map result, there was no link to the G+ L page right on the listing. Now those of us in the know, realized if you clicked reviews or write a review it would take you to the G+ L page. BUT not sure how many users knew you could get there that way.

Well today it was discovered in our PRO Community, those links are now gone too!
Now there is NO direct way to click from a maps listing to the G+ L page.


This will severely hamper our work flow and create lots of extra clicks and waste time!

HACK INSIDE & BELOW for getting to the G+ L page from maps now.
But it's a pain!

Discovered and shared by Nicolai Helling. Here is his post at the PRO Community.


<a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NicolaiHelling/posts/HqysdWZiabo">No link to G+ Local Page on Google Maps anymore? One more reason for Google+ My?</a>

One more reason for Google+ My Business Page Finder

I just recently discovered that the direct link from the "x reviews" or "Be the first to review" does no longer lead to the G+ Local Page as it had for the last 1-2 years. From now on it takes you to the Google websearch page with an automatically opened review lightbox.

Are others seeing this too?
Nicolai Helling later said:
"I just found a way to get the G+ Local page url for the case, when no review has been written so far (apart from using the above cited tool).

Just hit the link "Be the first to write a review" and make sure you're NOT logged in into Google. This will prompt you with the login form. Look at the url of the login form, it will feature the G+ Local page url right after the parameter named "&continue=" :)

Let's wait how long that keeps working..."


Joy Hawkins said:
"Oh geeze. Clicking on the reviews takes me now to a Google Search results page and THEN I can click on the G+ page from there. How annoying."

Linda Buquet said:
"Annoying is right!!! Helmut escalated to Google and we are waiting for a reply. Thanks for the hack +Nicolai Helling More mousing, dragging, copying and pasting for me. Damn!

I don't understand why the maps result can't just give you a link to the G+ L page if you want additional info. Wouldn't that be useful to the user???"


View the rest of the discussion there and I know other pros will be weighing in throughout the day.

I'll keep you posted if Google gives us anything I can share. It's always possible it's a temporary glitch. But the way they keep taking features away, I kinda doubt it.

I'm pretty sure I know what's coming. Something like "We are continuously changing the way we display things in search, to create a better user experience."

What do you think???

 

Phil Rozek

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This change is tough to read. But when you look at it as coming right after the removal of the "Local" tab, it's clear that Google is making it damn hard to navigate to unclaimed Places pages. You pretty much can't get to a page that doesn't have the small "Google+" link in the SERPs.

Also, Google recently began what seems like an attempt to refresh its address data, especially for SABs:

https://plus.google.com/+PhilipRozek/posts/Ze92vXby6G4

I can't tell if this is phase one of some bigger UI change, or just spring cleaning.
 
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Thanks Phil, I do feel like all these changes are leading to a bigger change.

I wonder how much of this if any has to do with the anti-trust and competitive legal issues around the allegations that Google sends too much of it's traffic to it's own properties.

FYI all, here's Mike's take on it if you have not read it yet:

<a href="http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/05/22/last-links-from-google-maps-to-g-local-plus-pages-removed/">Last Links from Google Maps to G+ Local Plus Pages Removed</a>
 

Phil Rozek

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You might be on to something there, Linda. I'm just not sure that many typical searchers / consumers used the links on the Maps tab.

Also, something tells me Google's stirring the pot all too willingly (rather than because The Man told them to).

But who knows....
 
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Wizards Mike and Helmut found out you can strip part of the URL and get to the G+L link or page. They are still brainstorming variations.

Discussion on G+ at the Pro Community.

I'm off to try some hacking to see what I can figure out with that URL string.
 
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Had to leave yesterday and didn't get a chance to mention we heard back from Google.

As I suspected this is not a temporary glitch, but an intended change.

They essentially feel like if a user clicks reviews, they should get reviews and not be taken to a G+ L page.

I just replied and said this to Google:

Actually I get taking users straight to reviews if they click reviews. That's how it always should have been!

It was always weird before that to get to G+ L page you had to know the back door and click reviews. There should have also been a direct link somewhere to the G+ L page - just like Google gives users in the SERPs.

And def should be a direct link, now that the review link does not take you there.

Not arguing with you. I know you guys don't make the final decision. Just sharing my concerns, which I believe others in the industry share.

2 other comments to share with the team from a discussion at Mike's.

Mike said: "Google’s rate of change is so many times greater than the rate of adoption that no SMB has a clue what they should do with Google these days."

I said in part: "Plus if it's hard to get to the page and features keep going away, more SMBs will be saying G+ is dead and why bother with a G+ L page, because it doesn’t hardly show up any more." (They often don’t realize the data from their page shows up some other places too.)
So that's the state of this issue right now.

Back to hacking the URL parameters...

Essentially like I just said on G+:

For a maps listing that has reviews. You can strip off everything after &ludocid OR everything after just lrd OR just strip the ,1 at the end. All 3 get you to the brand search results page. So then an additional click to get to the G+ L page.

But part of that convo with Mike and Helmut is not just how to get to the G+ L page, but the best way to get a direct link to give to customers for reviews.
 
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Whitespark just created a Bookmarklet that will take you from a maps listing,
directly to the G+ L page without having to screw around and take a bunch of steps to find the listing. Esp if there are no reviews, it's a pain and takes cking source code to find CID, etc, etc to get to the corresponding G+ page.

<a href="http://www.whitespark.ca/blog/post/66-google-maps-to-google-page-bookmarklet">Google Maps to Google+ Page Bookmarklet</a>

Thanks Darren and team!

And thanks Priya for the head's up in the other thread. Had not gotten to my feedreader yet, so you helped ensure I'd see their post.
 

CodyBaird

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Yeah. We can have more of our day back to do [insert favorite activity here]

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

Louis Nava

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The way I understand this change is because Google wants businesses to verify their businesses on the map but also wants people to use Google search and click the links from the SERPs

When this change happened we were advised by Google to use branded searches in order to navigate to the G+ pages.

For me this had helped in finding out why a local page wasn't showing up on the map. When i did a branded search for the business, I noticed they had an older G+ brand page that was getting associated with their website, which was super helpful. Once we killed that page the main Local page appeared on the map the next day.

It was also helpful were I noticed that Google felt a duplicate website was more relevant for a local page and ended up connecting them automatically no matter how many times I changed it in the dashboard . Long story short, the company didn't own that other website and was able to find out that somebody was trying to push their traffic to an ad site.
 

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