Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


advertisement



Google Places Goes SoLoMo - What Does it Mean for Hoteliers?

By Daniel Morosi
June 8, 2012


What’s the Issue?

Responding to a revolution in online behavior, Google has released the latest convergence of social, local, and mobile content: Google+ Local. This new product represents the merger of Google’s social network, Google+, and the vast index of local listings living on Google Places. As of May 30th, Google+ Local pages now appear in search engine results pages, Maps, and Mobile content. There is also a new tab dedicated to Local in the Google+ social network. Google+ Local is the result of Google’s desire to serve not only as a utility for users to find information, but a platform on which businesses and individuals can interact.

What Does it Mean for Hoteliers?


Superficially, Google has given its local content quite a makeover. Large prominent pictures at the head of the Plus page, along with tabs for Posts, About, Photos, and Videos are more visually engaging and resemble a Facebook or Foursquare profile. The overall experience of the new profile is more interactive and eye-catching than the single page Places listing.

Google+ Local page as seen on search engine results pages, Maps, and Mobile:



Though Google+Local offers a more social feel, the core content remains very similar to its Places predecessor. Basic location and contact information can be found in the About tab along with a description and category selection. Photos and videos can be uploaded into their respective tabs by both users and the business. The fundamental changes include the addition of dynamic content and the increased ability for businesses to interact with users.

With Google Places, users experienced static content. All of the information was found on one page, and it was displayed almost identically no matter who was viewing it. Places had the ability to filter results based on the IP address or mobile signal of a user, but Google+ has built upon this by tailoring results to the individual user. Google+ users can filter local results to be more relevant based on reviews, recommendations, and +1s from friends and family.

Though the feature has not been made available yet, Google has given a preview of future capabilities merchants will have with the Posts tab. The Posts tab will allow businesses to interact with users in a more versatile way than Places was able to offer. The tab mimics Facebook’s wall and serves a very similar purpose. Businesses can post new developments and users can respond in a dialogue. Users can also message a business directly through Google+. This personalized and engaging content is the driving force behind Google’s pursuit of uniting social and local experiences.

New Posts tab as seen on Loews Hotels’ Google+ profile, coming soon to Google+ Local:


Key improvements have also been made to the way reviews are aggregated and displayed. Google Places previously removed reviews aggregated by OTAs, drastically reducing the number of reviews available to users. With Google+ Local, users have access to a more relevant bank of reviews from Zagat Reviews, reviews left on the old Places listing, and personalized Google+ reviews. They have also adopted Zagat’s more-detailed 30 point review scale in place of the old 5 Star system.

What’s the Solution?

Some aspects of this new interface are still waiting to be rolled out, most notably a verification system for Google+ Local pages. HeBS Digital has been assured by our sources at Google that “business owners should still manage their listing that appears on Google Search, Maps, Mobile and now Google+ through their Google Places for Business account until we enable them to manage their business’ presence across Google through a single local Google+ page in the near future.”

Basic business information will be automatically pulled into the new interface from existing Place pages, including business name, address, phone number, website URL, description, categories, Google Map, and photos. As stated above, HeBS Digital can continue to manage clients’ listings through Google Places for Business accounts until further notice; however, the verification checkmark will not appear until Google rolls out a way to verify these new listings.

If your hotel has already created a Google+ page, they will have a page for posting, hangouts and other interactions as well as this Local page that was automatically created. In the future these two pages will most likely be linked and managed from the same spot, but for now they need to be managed independently.

Earlier this year, HeBS Digital discussed the hyper-local SEO changes brought about by the Google Venice updates. We also detailed the SEO value of optimizing a Google+ page. The launch of Google+ Local further supports the need for a cohesive social, local, and mobile web presence as well as a digital marketing partner that can seamlessly manage your online presence on various channels.

About the Author and HeBS Digital  
Daniel Morosi is SEM Specialist at HeBS Digital, the hospitality industry’s leading full-service digital marketing and direct online channel strategy firm, based in New York City (www.HeBSdigital.com). Sue Wiker, Manager, SEO Dept. contributed to this blog post.
 
HeBS Digital has pioneered many of the best practices in hotel Internet marketing, social and mobile marketing, and direct online channel distribution. The firm has won over 190 prestigious industry awards for its digital marketing and website design services, including numerous Adrian Awards, Davey Awards, W3 Awards, WebAwards, Magellan Awards, Summit International Awards, Interactive Media Awards, IAC Awards, etc.

A diverse client portfolio of top-tier major hotel brands, luxury and boutique hotel brands, resorts and casinos, hotel management companies, franchisees and independents, and CVBs are benefiting from HeBS Digital’s direct online channel strategy and digital marketing expertise. Contact HeBS Digital consultants at (212) 752-8186 or success@hebsdigital.com.

.

Editorial Contact:

Mariana Mechoso Safer
HeBS Digital
Phone: 212-752-8186
Email: mariana@hebsdigital.com
Web: http://www.hebsdigital.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hebsdigital
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeBS_NYC
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/hospitality-ebusiness-strategies
Google+: https://plus.google.com/107562536911518066194/posts



.
Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here


Also See: HeBS Digital Releases a Next-Generation Solution to Manage the Hotel's Digital Content; HeBS Digital Announces its New CMS Premium (Content Management System) to Manage the Desktop, Mobile and Tablet Website / May 2012

How Can Hoteliers Take Full Advantage of Pinterest? / Erica Garza / May 2012

HeBS Digital to Present at EyeforTravel's Online Marketing Strategies for Travel 2012 / May 2012

HeBS Digital Announces Loews Hotels Website Re-Launch / April 2012

Hotel Website Analytics: Is There Such Thing as Free Lunch? A Comparative Analysis of Adobe SiteCatalyst and Google Analytics / Adam Hammock and Lindsay Denninger / April 2012

Will the Hospitality Industry Tango with Tingo? / Max Starkov / April 2012

HeBS Digital Wins Big with Two 'Best of Industry' Advertising Competition Awards / March 2012

Top Ten Search Engine Marketing Do's and Don'ts in 2012 / Tara Rattigan and Toby Tornay / March 2012

Converging Social & Mobile: Why 2012 is going to be 'The Year of SoLoMo' Part II / Margaret Mastrogiacomo & Ritesh Gupta / March 2012

The New Google Venice Update - Is Your Hotel Website Optimized for Hyper-Local SEO? / Sue Wiker & Eric Rattner / March 2012

Action Plan to Ensure Your Hotel Website is ADA-Compliant / Gabriel Aponte / March 2012

Can TripAdvisor Transform Itself From an Industry Foe to an Industry Friend? / Max Starkov / February 2012

HeBS Digital Launches Landmark Sixth Annual Benchmark Survey on Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies / February 2012

Jason Price of HeBS Digital to Receive 'Top 25' Most Extraordinary Minds in Travel Industry at HSMAI'S Adrian Awards; HeBS Digital Honored a Second Time in Three Years / January 2012

Smart Hotelier's 2012 Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions / Max Starkov and Mariana Mechoso Safer / January 2012

Hotelier’s 2011 Top Ten Internet Marketing Resolutions / Max Starkov and Mariana Mechoso Safer / January 2011

The HeBS Perspective: Members-Only, Flash Sales and Group Buying Sites – Are These New Retail Concepts a Good Idea for Hotel Distribution? / Sara O’Brien / December 2010

The HeBS Perspective: Hotel Mobile Apps vs. Hotel Mobile Websites / Max Starkov / December 2010

Focus on ROI Driven Hotel Website Design and Multichannel Marketing Results in Significant Hotel Online Revenues and … Major Awards / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Speak at EyeforTravel’s Customer Centric Strategies for Travel 2011 in Atlanta / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Continues its Tradition of Excellence in Website Design with Eight W³ Awards / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins One Gold and Two Silver Magellan Awards for Web 2.0 and Multichannel Marketing Initiatives / September 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Present during Mobile Technology & Travel Keynote Session at EyeforTravel s Travel Distribution Summit / August 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Best in Class Interactive Media Award for the Silver Legacy Resort Casino Website / July 2010

HeBS to Address Mobile Marketing at HSMAI Conference; Max Starkov of Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to present on mobile marketing at HSMAI s Revenue Management & Internet Marketing Strategy Conference on June 21, 2010 in Orlando, FL. / May 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) to Present at the European Hospitality Technology Educational Conference (EHTEC) / January 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Unveils its Latest Web 2.0 Application: A Multi-Channel Interactive Scavenger Hunt for the City of Indian Wells / January 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) Wins the Prestigious Best in Class Interactive Media Award / January 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) Dominates Again in HotelMarketing.com s Most Popular Articles of 2009 / January 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Announces the Fourth Annual Benchmark Survey; Survey to Measure Hotel Internet Marketing Strategies, Budget Planning and Best Practices / December 2009

HeBS Wins Major Web 2.0 Design & Development Awards / November 2009

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Three W3 Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Web 2.0 and Website Development / October 2009

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) Announces Hotel Indigo New York City-Chelsea Website Launch / July 2009

HeBS Awarded “Best in Class” Interactive Media Award for Outrigger Lodging’s Grafton on Sunset Hotel Website / May 2009

Max Starkov of HeBS to Present at the CRM & Loyalty Strategies for Travel Conference in Atlanta; Chief Strategist Will Discuss How to Use Your Website as a Retention Tool at EyeforTravel Conference / February 2009

Max Starkov of Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Receive Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing 2008 Honor At HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala Annual Gala Dinner to be Held Jan. 26 in New York City / December 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Five Prominent Interactive Media Awards including Best in Class; Luxe Worldwide Hotels' New Brand Website Honored as Best in Class in Travel and Tourism 2008 / December 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Partners with The Tides Inn Chesapeake Bay Virginia; HeBS to increase direct online bookings and boost Internet marketing presence for The Tides Inn / October 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Announces the 2009 Benchmark Survey; Survey to Measure Hotel Internet Marketing Strategies, Budget Planning and Best Practices / October 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) Announces Luxe Worldwide Hotels New Website Launch / October 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Present at MICE Asia 2008 in Kuala Lumpur / July 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Receives Top International Creative Awards - 2008 Summit International Awards / May 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Receives Official Honoree Distinction for the 12th Annual Webby Awards in 2008 / May 2008

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Gold Adrian Awards in 2007 / December 2007

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Three W3 Awards / November 2007

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Gold Adrian Awards in 2007 / December 2007

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Receives Seven New Website Excellence Awards; Highest 2006 Interactive Media Awards and W3 Awards / November 2006

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Five Web Marketing Association Awards; 2006 WebAward for Best Travel Website / October 2006
...

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.