Next time you find yourself poking around Google Places you will see a few changes to the layout and options made available to users. As you can see from the screenshot below, Google has provided more emphasis on writing a review by placing a big red “Write a review” button just under the basic business information. However, the more prominent change that we have discovered is the ability to upload images on a Google Places page to anyone who is logged into a Google account.
After clicking the “Upload a Photo” button you have the option to upload an image directly from your computer. In fact, it appears that you can upload multiple images at once.
Once the image is uploaded you will receive the below message indicating that the image(s) will be made public pending review from Google.
While we believe Google will continue to utilize web citations from other sources as a back-end ranking factor, they seem to have been removed from the user interface of the Google Places page. As you can see below, prior to this change, citations were made publicly available on the main Places page along with full citation details on the “More details” page. This is no longer the case.
The final change that we are seeing is that review snippets from secondary engines such as Yelp and Yellow Pages seem to have vanished as well. Instead, Google is including links to reviews found on these secondary channels at the very bottom of the Google reviews section.
As we all know, Google has a tendency to roll out changes like these as tests with results that do not always stick on the final product. We will have to see which of these changes, if not all, remain consistent throughout the following months.