google places, great scott
There are plenty of web marketing books available, some of which are remarkable (see author Seth Godin). Unfortunately, some are exhaustively primitive; attempting to break down the world of online marketing into bite size pieces that even Marty McFly would be able to comprehend if he blasted into the Facebook era and wanted to take a crack at e-marketing.  And none of them mention Google Places (I will refer to it as “Places”).  This is disappointing, because it is such a powerful tool, especially for the small business owner.  Places replaces the big, chunky phonebook; the same phonebook that lawyers would spend tens of thousands of dollars to display a full-page ad.  The Internet, and Google Places in particular, has leveled the playing field.  Small business owner, be small no more!  Get found on Places and you’re nearly guaranteed to generate some business.

People don’t flip through the phonebook anymore; everything is a Google search away, literally right at your fingertips.  Why refer to the phone book when looking for a Chiropractor?  You can Google “Chiropractors in New Brunswick, NJ” and find the ten nearest to your residence right in Google Places; which provides reviews, a Places page with information, and even directs you to the doctors’ Web sites.

I like to get a little background and see what people are saying about the person cracking my back.  Here’s one that reads, “Dr. Hugh Jass is kind and frequently calls to check up on my condition, but I swear he always farts in the treatment room right before he leaves!”  Hmmm, I think I’ll go with Dr. Gregory instead.

Obviously, I'm kidding, but the Places pages are that interactive; allowing not only reviews and inbound links from all over the web to appear on the page, but also enabling photos and videos to be uploaded.  There’s no amount of money that could make a static phonebook advertisement do that.  One pitfall of Google Places; it is rapidly decelerating the production of phonebooks, in turn, depleting the phonebook tearing strongman of source material to destroy.

Leave a Reply.