For those of you that have created local Google+ pages (with social features) — good news! You can become the verified business owner for that local Google+ page.
In essence, this will combine the page you created in Google+ with the page in Google+ Local (formerly Places listing). Your business’ presence across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+ will be unified. You’ll be able to manage this page from Google+ Pages admin. Check out McClain Insurance Services for an example of a combined page, with both social features and reviews.
Once merged, you'll have one place (and one dashboard) to manage your verified brand presence. To merge your pages, simply click the Verify Now button on the right side of your Google+ Local page. It’s that simple. Sort of.
A few things to know about the merge:
- This is the beginning of what (I assume) will become a much larger rollout, so the process right now seems a bit cumbersome in parts. For example, even if you’re currently a verified business owner on Google Places for Business, you’ll still have to go through the postcard verification process again when you merge your two profiles.
- In order to merge your Google+ Business page the page has to be listed in the local business/place category. If you set yourself up as a brand page, you can’t merge it. Google suggests creating a new page and putting it in the right category, however, I’m not sure I’d recommend creating a duplicate Business page for your brand, unless you're willing to start over from scratch.
- If you only have a Google+ Local Page (previously a Google Place Page) you won’t be able to take advantage of the upgraded experience. You need to have both a Local page and a Google+ Business page. So if you want to upgrade to take advantage of the new features, you’ll need to create a Business page first.
So, assuming you set up your Google+ Business page properly and you also have a Local page, the option to merge and verify is now available. If you didn’t set it up that way, you may want to wait unless the next stages of Google’s rollout are available. Hopefully it won’t be too long.