Sep 24, 2009 at 4:08pm ET by Greg Sterling
Google is swapping its “info window” in Maps out in favor a much richer full-page experience that offers more information and a number of new capabilities and features. The pop-ups on Maps previously opened to an expanded info-bubble view, featuring a tabbed experience that buried much of the information available about a business.
The new “Place Pages” offer a more user friendly presentation of the same information. Also launching today are Place Pages that cover cities, neighborhoods, points of interest and transit stops, in addition to business locations. (The Place Pages are accessible from the “more info” link associated with the listing or result.)
Below is an example of what the new Place Pages look like for a search on “San Francisco Cafes.” First the familiar result on Maps:
Clicking on the “more info” link in the pop-up would previously have brought up a larger tabbed window that showed reviews, business hours and images/video within the map:
However, after today you’ll now see a full page showing this same information but presented much more effectively:
This page contains ads and, in the lower right corner, “related maps,” which were not previously presented. Google is also running a separate algorithm that ranks content providers within the sections on the page (reviews content, for example).
The idea behind Place Pages, according to Google is to “give you all the info about a place, in one place.”
Each of these pages will apparently have a unique URL but will not be indexed in organic results. They will only appear via Maps. Google also believes that these better looking, more prominent Place Pages will encourage more local businesses to claim their listings. I would agree.