The merge of Google+ Business Pages with Google Places Pages to create Google+ Local Pages has been both positive and negative for a wide range of businesses. Overall, the verification process required for merging still has some kinks that Google is working on fixing. One aspect of the transition that has caused much frustration for businesses and marketers alike is that businesses with multiple addresses or service area businesses aren't being catered to just yet and aren't being given alternatives to waiting.
Why the Change?
It takes living under a rock to not know that Google is constantly making changes and updates to help further enhance the search experience. However, these updates can come as quite a shock to businesses owners, Google users, and those in the Internet marketing business. Just like many changes in life, it takes some time and research to adjust to alterations in search and social on the Internet.
Another thing we have to keep in mind is that Google's creation of Google+ Local Pages is a business decision of its own. In what seems like a never-ending race between Facebook, Bing, and other search and social platforms online, Google has to keep up with and stay ahead of the competition.
Google+ Local Pages may not be loved or even liked by everyone, but we have to trust that Google is also making this change with users in mind. For instance, serving as a type of one-stop-shop, Google+ Local Pages make it more convenient for a person to update what they know to be their Google+ Business Page and Google Places Page without having to use two account dashboards. This will take some getting used to, but even the layout and organization of Google+ Local Pages is more streamlined.
In the world of Internet marketing, sometimes there isn't any time to waste and the cart is often put before the horse. There are many advantages to Google+ Local Pages for businesses; however, a handful of businesses have no other option than to wait as certain issues get resolved by Google. One of the biggest hurdles with the merge is that a business with more than one address has to sit tight before they are given a verification process that relates to them. At this time, the only way to verify the merge of a Google+ Business Pages with a Google Places Pages is to log into a Google+ Business Page, click Verify now on the right side of the page, and submit for a postcard to be delivered with a pin to your location. However, this process is really only intended for businesses with one address, and has complicated the process for numerous companies looking to consolidate their Google footprint.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
No one can predict what will happen with Google+ Local Pages in the long-run, mainly because it will likely continue to evolve with new demands and changes in competition. Nevertheless, the leverage of Google search and social provides unique perks for businesses that other platforms don't quite surpass. While Google works on fixing the shortcomings of Google+ Local Pages for users, we can only hope that businesses can continue to voice their frustrations while remaining patient as the problems are solved.