Google Places Toolkit - What is Google Places?

Written By Mike Kearns (

If you are a business owner with a physical storefront, you are missing out on a huge percentage of leads and may not even know it.  Google has their own database of physical storefronts they use to populate Google Maps and Google Search, which they call Google Places.  If your business is not on Google Places or you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you've come to the right place.  Here's a sample Google Places Page for a local mexican restaurant, called Maria's Mexican Restaurant.  As business owners use Google Places and generate more local leads from the increasing mobile search traffic, it's also increasing local search marketing competition and local is becoming a new battle ground for search engine optimizers (SEO's).  

I've spent the last year researching Google Places, performing experiments, trying to keep up with all the changes and am excited to share my findings.  The results have been complied here into a free eBook that's geared in helping you get online with Google Places.  If you have seen Google Places or are familiar with it already, you may be asking why you need a toolkit when Google Places is so straight-forward.  Truth is everyone's time is limited, especially when running a business, and having systems is a way of simplifying tasks and to ensure predictable results.  There are some simple tasks outlined in the Google Places Toolkit check lists, that when followed, will not only optimize your time and efforts, but will increase your opportunities for maximum success and increased leads.  The checklists are for sale at $9 for all four.  Plus, there's no limit on the amount of times you can use the checklists.  The book, Google Places Toolkit, is available for free below.  Times are changing.  People are using mobile maps for discovery, so it's time to act. 

Chapter 1 - What is Google Places. - A place for your business.  With the rise in mobile discovery and increased maps usage, you need your business to perform well.  The chapter will lay the foundation for what Google Places is and how it can play an instrumental part in your business.

Chapter 2 - Why is Google Places Important To Me As A Business Owner. - Lead generation is the most costly activity for a small business.  Learn how to utilize your free, online business space hosted by Google

Chapter 3 - Google's Guidelines - No one wants to read the fine print.  Don't worry - I have.  I give you the straight talk about how to approach this, sometimes sticky, situation.  You'll need to adhere in order for maximum success.

Chapter 4 - How Do I Setup My Google Places Page - There's no time to waste.  Get it right the first time.  To get the most of the Google Places Toolkit, the supplementary $9 pdf is available for purchase.

Chapter 5 -  How I Do I Track Results. - Google Places allows a business owner to take ownership of a Google Place page, and once owned, detailed statics are available.  Trying new offers, listening to the feedback, tracking the results, and repeating the process will get you on your way to success.

Chapter 6 - Tips For Improvement - You might as well quit if you've got a Google Places page and know everything about what it takes to run a successful business.  If not, read this chapter to gain some unique ideas.  The best option, to get all the tips, on one checklist, requires the purchase of the supplementary $9 pdf.

Chapter 7 - What To Do With Multiple Businesses - There are many rules and tools.  Checkout this chapter for the lowdown.

Chapter 8 - Apps That Use Google Places API - Your Google Places data may be showing up in other places without your knowledge.  See this chapter for all the apps that use your data, and what they can do with it.  Examining the features available in the API can lead to interesting discoveries.

Chapter 9 - Long Term Plans For Google Places.  Google is always performing little a/b and multivalent tests and measuring the results.  See Dan Russel.  They are also placing resources behind Google Places because of increased mobile smart phone saturation and Google Maps discovery.  

If you don't believe me, see what Google has to say about the benefits of using Google Places.

Get Inspired
Submit your own Google Places knowledge for everyone to use and check out our Google Places Research page.

Get Results
See what others are saying about the book, share your own comments check out our Google Places Research page.