A look at the new Google Places and its impact on local SEO

Recently, the Internet giant Google made some few tweaks and changes to the Google Maps and Places interface.

As part of a series of more changes to come, Google featured a new layout of Place Pages which put a stronger emphasis on content from Google users, and less review content from third party sites (other web pages that referenced the business).

Google Places Image
This emphasis on Google user reviews shows the recent push by Google, and the rest of the web, to increase personalized contents and give users more ways to rate, comment, share… Information from people that are already customers or that a user can relate to is the most meaningful.

To incorporate these changes, Google added two red large and easily accessible “Write a review” buttons. The reviews now have their own single section on the page and push down links to third party sites and external reviews.

Removing these citations or references from third party websites will have a strong impact on local SEO, as these citations are the local version of links. The same way link builders’ look for competitor’s links, local SEO’s use citations from competitors.

Google announced more changes to come as well. Some of the company’s long-term vision for local search includes the increased personalization of local search results and making these upgrades available on other Google platforms and across different devices.


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