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Google+? No, Google Place

Wow, there is quite a bit of buzz around Google+ business pages. Most of it is complaining (surprise, surprise) while the rest of it is the expert examination and advice of a tool that has been out in the wild for a couple of days. I guess that’s like a year in Internet time because the “expert” advice is flying around like a “you-know-what” storm.

As a result, I am taking my usual position of the Internet and social media marketing contrarian. My ilk is few and far between and serves as a realistic counter-balance to the hype and insanity that is the “race to the front of the pack at all costs including accuracy” culture the Internet and social media marketing industry has fostered over time.

So what’s my take on Google+ business pages? Go ahead and knock yourself out. Go get one. Just Google “Google+ business pages” and choose from the hours old sage advice of anyone who has the Google juice to sit at the top of the SERP’s at the time of your search. You can’t go wrong because everyone is right at this point in the game. Of course, if you end up making a mistake, don’t point back to your expert du jour because they will already be off to the next great thing or will act as if they never said anything anyway.

Oh right, my advice? Get your Google Place page in order before you do anything else. This point was driven home today in a client call I had with a fairly large regional business with about 15 locations. There was plenty of anticipation about how receptive this group would be to any ideas I had regarding their website and rankings for their industry keyword gems.

Since I had done my homework I hit them with the beauty of something that could be actionable right away and would serve to help them in direct searches for their brand, reputation management because of reviews and overall foundational local search health. We spent all of the allotted time discussing Google Place pages which they knew nothing about. We didn’t talk about their website for a second and they were happy. This is not a knock on them at all, since many businesses are still blissfully ignorant of the Google Place page and its relative importance in the Google local search ecosystem.

Before you ask “Did he just say his client was ignorant?” I will answer with a resounding yes and not be ashamed. Ignorance is cured by giving valuable information to a receptive ear that takes it in and processes it as opportunity. That is exactly what my client did which tells me how smart they are and that it will be a pleasure working with them moving forward.

Look, I get that we all need to look like we are running and keeping pace with the constant change and the “next greatest thing.” The trouble is that if you run to the next thing without ever finishing the first thing, you are building your online presence on a foundation of sand. Check the Bible to see where that kind of thinking will get you.

So stop, look, and get your Google Place page portfolio in order before you put your Google+ house up in the new neighborhood where few people are truly living yet. You can thank me later.

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