Back in July Google launched its Favorite Places campaign to start indexing popular local stores. We’ve seen it mature, and after nine months Google decided this baby is ready now to have its official place in the Google family. Previously known as the Google Local Business Center, you can now find all of the same information and more at google.com/places.
Google has the official post on their latlong blog, but here are the highlights of what’s new with the change of status for the program.
Use Free Google Professional Photographers To Photograph Your Business
In select cities, you can now apply for a free photo shoot of the interior of your business. These pictures load to the current gallery on Google, so if you don’t have a camera or an eye for photography you might want to apply now. Wow, groovy!
Advertise Locally For A Flat Rate Fee:
The cost is $25 per month. What this will get you is a Tag on Google Maps that will appear when someone is looking nearby. This tag helps your business stand out locally to people browsing Google Maps, and you can feel comfortable knowing that your competition is only getting the same $25 ad because there is no premium ad service option available.
50,000 More Favorite Places In the U.S.
Google is going to send out 50,000 more previously mentioned Favorite Places decals. Google determines these internally so just make sure your business is registered with Google because you can’t force them to send you one!
Free Informative Webinars
Google will be presenting live webinars to help you learn more about Google Places. If you have a local business that you want to market, this could be a good place to learn how to leverage Google to increase your traffic. Sign up here.
That just about covers it, and sorry to report – the Quickmark QR Code reader app isn’t free anymore, but you can pick it up in the iTunes store for $0.99!