I thought I’d noticed all the changes to the Google Places layout yesterday, when Google rolled out the changes. But I didn’t.
Susan Walsh of elsue.com has kindly pointed out to me that the “Additional Details” area is missing from all Google Places listings. I thought something else seemed different…
This is a shame, because the “Details” section has always been a great way for businesses to tell customers facts about their business that maybe. Maybe 2% of businesses abused this by “keyword-stuffing,” but I’d say about 98% of businesses didn’t fill it with junk (or didn’t use it at all).
But it will be interesting to see what—if anything—Google replaces the “Details” area with. Businesses need a way to convey the odd-ball stuff to potential customers.
UPDATE: The odd thing is that I’m still seeing the Details fields intact when signed into the “Edit” area of a Google Places listing. Maybe these are on the way out, too…
Dan Freeberg says
I just checked my Google Places Page today and along with the details situation, right now it is not showing any citations.
So… is this a temporary thing?
It appears to be permanent. Mike Blumenthal has said that it’s a permanent change from Google and not a test. Given the scope of these changes, it sure doesn’t seem to be a test.
Based on what I’ve seen, your citations, non-Google reviews, etc WILL still help contribute to your ranking. These changes just appear to be a major facelift (some would argue a semi-botched one).
The “Details” section will most probably be returned. It was missing for quite some time now (maybe a week) and preceded this update. However, the “More about this place”, the “Reviews from around the Web”, and the “What people are saying” section, are not going back. At least not in the near future 🙂 I think Google is working in a totally different direction now and it is user-generated content, which they could use to personalize the search results even further. They obviously haven’t learned that the way they are personalizing the results using social factors is not useful. Until they realize that, they will fail in the social sphere.
Yes, let’s hope that the “Details” come back in some way, shape, or form. I agree that they’re probably just “dormant” while Google makes tweaks.
I agree that the “social” direction Google is taking falls short. On the one hand, I’ve been harping on Google-account reviews for several years, largely before other people were talking about their importance. However, G really needs to pay attention to user-generated content from ANY source–not just that created by Google users.
What have you heard that makes it appear *likely* that the Details section will be returned?
Thanks for the great insights, btw.