There are now several doorways for your customers to reach and discover your local business. What used to be called Google Places is now over, and as of May 30th more than 80 million local business' places pages have been converted into Google Plus pages.
Here’s an overview of (some) of the major changes:
Here is a screenshot of what the new local discovery and search platform looks like on Google Plus for "burgers in "Chantilly, VA":
With the new local tab within the Google Plus platform, searching for local businesses just got a lot more social and interactive. Google can automatically detect your location, and will feed you suggestions about cool places around your area.
When you specify a service in that location it will pull up all of the local businesses that are listed in that area - and the ones that were optimized the best for Google places will be the first ones to show up.
This makes these three factors of local optimization extremely important:
There are many different platforms that "Googler's" Can find your local Google plus page on:
Here is a screen shot of what the old places used to look like:
Here is a screenshot of what the new and improved Google Plus pages look like: