Google has enhanced the functionality of Google Maps with an exciting new tool – Place Pages for Google Maps. Each Place Page has all the relevant information – photos, videos, reviews, related websites, popular attractions, maps, directions, etc. – listed on one single page.
And the thing that makes it so awesome is that there is a literally a Place Page for every place in the world. You can find all the information you want about businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world.
You do a search on Google Maps, and if you click on “more info” in search results, or on ”more info” in the mini-bubble, it takes you to the Place Page. The photos are powered by Panoramio, videos by youtube.
A search for Katz’s Deli in New York resulted in a page where the overview included all the usual stuff such as a menu, pricing, dining style, maps and location.
nd then you have separate sections for photos & videos; user reviews from TripAdvisor, Citysearch and other sources; web pages devoted to the place; and user content such as wikipedia pages and flickr photo sets.
The overall impression, once you check out one of these pages, is that you don’t really need to go anywhere else. Everything you need to know about ‘the’ place is aggregated right there – on that one page.
If you’re a business owner, you can add or update your business details through Google’s Local Business Center.
As of now, cities and most businesses have their own URL under google.com/places. For example, New York is google.com/places/us/new-york/new-york-city. And San Francisco is google.com/places/us/california/san-francisco-city.
Question is, are these Place Pages going to compete in web search results? They’re not completely kept out of search results - a few queries, closely tied to the page titles, did return these pages. But as of now, the use of Place Pages looks to be limited for use with Google Maps.
Even so, given the massive reach and visitor base for Google Maps, its a virtual guarantee that Place Pages will very quickly become a go-to source for checking out restaurants and other consumer-oriented businesses where reviews matter a great deal.