Google’s new Places for Business app that was available on the Itunes app store for a short time was meant to give local business owners the convenience of managing their Google Places/Google+ Local business listing from their smart phone or tablet. The app was a free download in the app store that gave small business owners the following capabilities from their mobile device before it was removed:
- Verify business listing
- Update business information
- Post business photos
- Track web traffic
- Manage multiple business locations
The downside to the launch of the app is that it’s still not clear which businesses will be able to use the app. Google’s transition from Google Places to Google+ Local has some businesses caught in the middle and unable to take advantage of the new application, which most likely prompted Google to remove the app from the store all together. Until Google finishes this transition and provides more information on how to utilize the app, small business owners will remain confused about how to take advantage of the technology.
It’s important for Google to start providing clear information about how small business owners can use the technology to their advantage. Local search engine marketing is very critical to local small business owners, and the constant confusion is making it hard for them to develop a local search presence that provides their customers with the information they need in order to purchase from them. At this time, Google has not commented on why the app was removed. Below is a screenshot of the app before it was taken down.