Phil Rozek

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Linda Buquet

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For anyone that runs Communities...

CRAP Community moderation is a NIGHTMARE!

My new "Local Search Dynamics" Community has 104,000 members. We get 50 - 100 new a apps a day and we have to check each one because there is so much spam. Huge communities are a total spam magnet on G+. It's like 4 extra clicks now to check each app. Multiply X 100. 400 extra clicks a day. No can do! Luckily I have lots of great mods there that do most of that part for me, cuz no way I could with new G+.

Thanks +Priya Chandra for the heads up in the other thread about all the mod problems. I had not checked the waiting Q over there yet today. What a pain! (Literally for me.)

Priya mentioned a bunch of other problems and missing features for communities too that make it much harder for navigation and for moderators.

I'm hating this so far, and just keep reverting to old G+.
 

empe

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I found the solution how to back to old version of G+
Let's say your G+ URL is https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111/about - all you have to do is change "about" on random letters, for example:
https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111/xyz
It will redirect you to https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111/posts (which is interesting, becouse if you type https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111/posts manually, it will redirect you to https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111).
And now you can check reviews, description, etc. ;)
 

Eric Rohrback

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So is it even worth it to link to these pages now? Google basically removed anything that could help sway a customer to visit your business (reviews, description, etc). This is pretty frustrating because if you send them to the map fly-out instead of the page you risk competitors ads showing & stealing clicks. If you send them directly to the new page, there's no real information to help influence a purchase or a visit.

So I guess the question is... how do we use this? It seems the simplified layout pushes users to the website more, so your landing page had better be spot on & ready to convert... if not, then you're sunk.
 

Linda Buquet

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IMPORTANT INSIGHTS

Comment from John Skeats a Top Contributor for Google+.
(Note this is a discussion we are having about all the missing community moderation features in particular, but still applies to the whole roll out.)

"Remember that the new Google+ is only a pilot at this time.

No one believes that it is a finished product. Google released it now so they could get feedback to help them shape the final product.

They know it is not complete and that functions are not present. In some cases, the new Google+ has what are really placeholder implementations of functions which might be sufficient in some cases. I view the member management functions as falling into that category.

Until the new Google+ is completed, there are functions that you have to switch back to the old Google+ for. That's why it generally only takes one or two clicks to go back and forth between the two versions. I use the new Google+ for almost everything but drop back to the classic many times a day for various reasons. I view that as one of the minor nuisances that comes with the opportunity to help shape the new Google+.

I encourage you to use Send Feedback on the main menu of the new Google+ to let the Google+ team know what you like and don't like about the new Google+.

That will have a profound effect on what the final product turns out to be. "

Does not prove they will listen and take all suggestions, but seems this was intentionally rolled out pretty BETA in hopes the community could help shape the final product.

So as I've said before - send feedback on features/elements you don't like.

DISCLAIMER: I know where they sit on local and this release. I don't really see them changing the local piece much based on our feedback. Think the writing is on the wall there. But can't hurt to leave feedback that we want reviews and images back since those are 2 things Google puts so much emphasis on.

I quoted that because of the bugs, flakiness and missing features. Leave feedback on stuff you don't think is working right or missing features. (Like some of us are talking about in that thread. Missing community moderation features for example.)
 

ccbackus

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One thing that we need to do is update our links from the website to the map page. Our hope in many instances was to have a link from the homepage to Google+ in order to make it easier for people to leave reviews. When we have a link setup for this purpose, we need to make sure it's going to the map so that people can easily leave a review without having to go through a lot of trouble.

I've been trying different review services lately when we eat and shop, and Yelp! has made it extremely easy to leave reviews, while Google seems to be complicating the issue. I wonder if this is really the position they want to be in?
 

Linda Buquet

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One thing that we need to do is update our links from the website to the map page. Our hope in many instances was to have a link from the homepage to Google+ in order to make it easier for people to leave reviews. When we have a link setup for this purpose, we need to make sure it's going to the map so that people can easily leave a review without having to go through a lot of trouble.

There are new workarounds. See this:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-reviews/38343-google-reviews-hacks-creating-review-url-strings-new-google.html">Google Reviews: Hacks for Creating Review URL Strings with the New Google+</a>
 

whitespark

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I don't really see the big deal. Hardly anyone ever went to the Google+ pages, other than SEOs and the business owners. They have made it virtually impossible to get to the page from the search results.

Photos, reviews, and About have just moved to Maps or the Local Finder, which we can consider the new home for our listing at Google. They want to separate G+ from local, and they have pretty much put the final nail in the coffin with this update. G+ is a now a social platform only, and no longer a local business listing site as well.

The impact I see is this:
- listing analysis and dupe discovery is a little harder for SEOs now
- We have to update the link we send people to to read/write reviews
- We have to update our links to our Google listing

I don't really mind. Google Plus just becomes less and less important for local search and we'll focus on the data we see in Maps, Map Maker, and the Local Finder.
 

whitespark

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I don't really see the big deal. Hardly anyone ever went to the Google+ pages, other than SEOs and the business owners. They have made it virtually impossible to get to the page from the search results.

Photos, reviews, and About have just moved to Maps or the Local Finder, which we can consider the new home for our listing at Google. They want to separate G+ from local, and they have pretty much put the final nail in the coffin with this update. G+ is a now a social platform only, and no longer a local business listing site as well.

The impact I see is this:
- listing analysis and dupe discovery is a little harder for SEOs now
- We have to update the link we send people to to read/write reviews
- We have to update our links to our Google listing

I don't really mind. Google Plus just becomes less and less important for local search and we'll focus on the data we see in Maps, Map Maker, and the Local Finder.
 

Linda Buquet

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Yep I get you Darren. I'm finally getting over the idea of G+ L pages too.

But for anyone that would like some local page features back...
Possibly a tiny ray of hope. (She puts her rose colored glasses on and ducks) :p

From a trusted colleague, Ben Fisher on G+:

"Google IS Listening - Give Feedback

I just got off a call with Google. During the call I asked what he thought about the new G+. The response was"It is more intuitive and faster".

I then asked what about the missing elements from Pages and Profiles?

His response was "Google has not rolled out all the functionality yet, we can expect quite a few features to make it back into the new design - <b>especially for local pages."</b>

He also encouraged users to provide feedback!"
 
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Google B Page Discussion Header (1).jpg

We'll be talking about these issues Monday on Blab. Would love to have some of you join us.
https://blab.im/zara-altair-your-g-business-page-in-the-new-google-ben-fisher-nina-trankova-and-more

Zara

Google B Page Discussion Header (1).jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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I made a comment comparing the G+ rollout to the new Google Maps rollout in my other G+ thread here: <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google/38355-new-google-plus-tutorial-ana-hoffman-important-comments-other-leaders.html">The NEW Google Plus: Tutorial by Ana Hoffman & Important Comments from other Leaders</a>

But I just added a lot more to the Maps comparison over at Mike's, so wanted to share that here as well.

I said: "It seems to me like the new G+ rollout is very similar to the way Google gradually rolled out the new Google Maps.

Remember how bad new maps was in the beginning? How many features were missing and how slow it was? Remember how long it was in BETA and how many great user suggestions and new features were added over time. They did what seems like hundreds of little updates, before they released the final product and cut off access to Classic Maps.

I’m guessing we’ll see a similar trajectory here, but much shorter and not as detailed – because G+ is not as important to Google and the world does not depend on G+ the way it does G Maps.

Is it a good way to launch up update? Half baked and let the users do the testing?
No. But Google pretty much crowd sources everything."


I don't hold out a lot of hope that the local piece will change that much. I think reviews and images may come back.

But my comments above about the new Google Maps were more just about all regular G+ social features and functionality that got changed or is totally missing. AND the community management features, don't even get me started...

My new Local Search Community has 104,000 members. And G+ communities are a spam magnet. Tons of features for managing the spam are gone now, so you really can't even use new G+ for communities on the owner/manager side. And communities are even part of their big focus now.
 

Dave

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I don't really see the big deal. Hardly anyone ever went to the Google+ pages, other than SEOs and the business owners. They have made it virtually impossible to get to the page from the search results.

Photos, reviews, and About have just moved to Maps or the Local Finder, which we can consider the new home for our listing at Google. They want to separate G+ from local, and they have pretty much put the final nail in the coffin with this update. G+ is a now a social platform only, and no longer a local business listing site as well.

The impact I see is this:
- listing analysis and dupe discovery is a little harder for SEOs now
- We have to update the link we send people to to read/write reviews
- We have to update our links to our Google listing

I don't really mind. Google Plus just becomes less and less important for local search and we'll focus on the data we see in Maps, Map Maker, and the Local Finder.

From the perspective of both a business operator and SEO I thoroughly agree with Darren above.

From its earliest development we put time into google + for our smb's. We never saw even marginal responsiveness from customers. It simply didn't grow into the customer base. It grew among google fans and for acct management purposes. We never saw the response.

Similarly we never saw positive response for our little local smb's from twitter, foursquare or some other reasonably popular social venues. For one type of smb that is pretty responsive to visuals we've seen "some response" from pinterest, but even that is minimal. On the largest web social venue we've seen response from facebook--> still a minimal value to business and revenues compared to search. Frankly Bing is better for business than FB. Bing is involved in search and gives responses when visitors search using intent.

Our best source of "local" "social elements" are the great variety of social elements unique to local communities. It could be local list serves, it could be meet-ups, it could be local media or hyper local media, it could be locally strong blogs, it could be the news in local community, community interest groups, or church or civic groups....but it most assuredly are not the world wide web sources and certainly not google plus (+).

So Google Local is now a function of search and maps, sort of like it was before google plus.

I'm guessing two reasons for this change or set of changes:

1. Traffic did not migrate to local businesses on G+. No activity. Google would know. We wouldn't. We had ZERO...let me repeat ZERO ability to really track and understand traffic to G+ and ultimate potential traffic to become a customer or a repeat customer.

Google uniquely sees what is occurring and they didn't communicate to us well enough for us to understand.

So they killed it. (so it seems).

2. A second reason. It could auger changes to further monetize google. Why??? because that is what google does!!!!


Frankly after messing around with G+, twitter, FB, and countless social venues...we like sticking to search. It works.
 

Linda Buquet

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IMPORTANT!

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/38386-google-official-reviews-will-not-come-back-g-local-pages.html">Google Official - Reviews Will Not Come Back on G+ Local Pages</a>

There is lots of confusion and it's not as big of a deal as some think. So be sure to read not just the 1st post that explains everything, but also the 4th post that clears up some confusion. (Darren I quoted you in post #4.)

Good points Dave! I didn't see your post til just now.
But seems we are all seeing the writing on the wall.
It's not totally bad just totally different and hard for folks to wrap their mind around.
 

hollypowell

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Going forward I'm going to just make sure my clients have their business listed and treat it like any other citation/directory site.

When a client asks do I need it?
I'll just say do you have to eat? j/k

Because what is the way for G+ today will change tomorrow or if it doesn't it won't be long for the next change.

Moving on - right? It's all we can do.
 

whitespark

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Holly, I wouldn't think of your Google listing as a citation. Think of it like the mothership, and all your citations feed the mothership. All businesses will get listed whether you add them to Google or not. Google is aggregating data from sooo many sources, that it's bound to find your business and generate a listing eventually anyway.

The address (URL) to the mothership has simply changed. It used to be your Google+ URL, and now it's Google Maps URL.
 

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