Local consumers today spend a great deal online trying to find local businesses who have what they need or want - this includes food, entertainment, banking, shopping, auto repair, hair care, massages, lawn care, and the list goes on and on. According to Google, one in five searches includes a "location", which prompted them to create a solution that will help businesses attract new local customers.
Today, that solution is Google+ Local, which is a portal of business profile listing pages that replaced what was once known as the popular "Google Places". In an attempt to make local search more effective and interesting, Google created Google+ Local by integrating Google Places with their new social network, Google+ (also known as Google Plus or G+).
Similar to Facebook pages, Google+ has already gained massive popularity in the social networking arena due to the fact that it is owned by the largest and most powerful online search engine; Google itself. Therefore, Google+ Local is expected to receive the same level of success as it creates a unique, yet effective way for small businesses to gain local online exposure.