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Google+ Local – an end to location-specific SEO for Manchester sites?

If you’ve been reading some of the recent blog posts published on other sites about the launch of Google+ Local, you could be forgiven for thinking the new pages spell the end of location-specific SEO for Manchester webmasters, and for those in other cities too.

However, a closer look at what Google have actually said about the new social network pages gives no indication that this should be the case.

While some sites are reporting Google+ Local as a direct replacement for Google Places, that – at least as yet – is not entirely accurate.

Google+ Local simply means that, if your social media marketing campaign includes a Google+ profile, you can now begin to flesh it out with more location-specific information, which should in turn begin to appear in Google’s Search, Maps and mobile results.

If your social media marketing efforts haven’t reached Google+ as yet, don’t worry – Google have been careful to stress that you can still update existing Google Places for Business pages, verify basic data, and respond to any incoming reviews.

What does this mean? Well, it means you’re still not obliged to use Google+ but that, if you do, you may soon find you have more control than ever over the region-specific information shown to users who search for your business.