Google have recently decided to rename Google Local Business Centre as Google Places, but there’s a subtle update that they slipped in at the same time that will be very useful to many small businesses.
Google Places, as it is now, allows businesses to give Google extra information about their business that shows up in Google maps searches and – of key value – in Google local search results (the small block of local businesses that show up when you search for a keyword accompanied by a geographical keyword e.g. web design huntingdon or when Google decides that local content is appropriate).
You can specify keywords (very important to choose those carefully), pictures, video, opening hours and all sorts of extra information (the more the better) – but the one thing that many people were reluctant to show was their address. You might be a local business but you work from home or you might just not want people turning up at your offices unannounced! Well, now you can hide your address in the search results – just showing website or telephone contact details.
So if you’re a business serving a local area there is no excuse for not listing yourself in Google Places.