Local Business Centre is now Google Places

Friday, April 23, 2010 | 11:44 AM

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We announced this week that the Google Local Business Centre is now Google Places. This change was made to better connect Place Pages - the way businesses are being found today - with the tool that businesses use to manage their presence on Google.

Around the world, more than four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google through the Local Business Centre, which lets them verify and supplement their business information to include things like hours of operation, photos, videos, product offerings, and more.

To help your clients keep track of how their business listing is performing on Google, we offer a personalised dashboard within Google Places that includes data about how many times people have found their business on Google, and which keywords they used to find it. The dashboard can help businesses make more informed decisions about how to be found on Google and interact with their customers.

We’re also announcing the beta stage of scheduled business photo shoots. In addition to uploading their own photos, businesses in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane) and Japan (Kyoto & Tokyo) can now request a free photo shoot of the interior of their business, which we'll use to supplement existing photos of businesses on Place Pages. We've been experimenting with this over the past few months, and now have created a site for businesses to learn more and express their interest in participating. Unfortunately, due to extremely high demand, our photographers will not be able to visit every business that applies. The good news, though, is that any business owner around the world can upload photographs to their Place Page by logging in to Google Places.

One out of five searches on Google are related to location, and we want to make sure that businesses are able to be found and put their best foot forward! To get started now, go to google.com/places.