Customer and tech reps usually get paid the least by companies, but I really hope thatis paying their reps really well, because I don’t think Google could have mangled their Google+ rollout to businesses who have verified “Places Listings” any worse.
On the one hand, Google wants businesses to create Google+ pages. On the other hand, if your business already HAS a Place page (which shows up on search and local search) then you don’t apparently NEED to set up a Google+ page right now, because the two are SEPARATE. They just took the confusing step making the Place page LOOK like a Google+ page.
And of course the generalmessaging is “hey create a page”.
So this has now left myriad of LOCAL business owners (think retail, tourism, etc) utterly and hopelessly confused. Check out the “help” forum and the valiant effort of the Google rep to say in essence “Yeah, we know it sucks, but just hang in there.”
So for now (nearly a month after they started all of this) here’s my advice for LOCAL businesses who have a verified Place listing:
1. Wait to create a Google+ page until Google has unified Places and Local+. If you have a verified Place listing, you’re all set.
2. However, if you want to leverage Google+ social features, then go ahead and setup a business page. Just understand that it is separate from your Place listing, won’t be tied to your existing Adwords or Offers campaigns, and, you’ll need to duplicate all of your content, and that once Google unifies the products, you will need to merge the two pages in some fashion.