Google Places API Quietly Divorces Google+

I unfortunately have to report that my Google+ My Business Page Finder tool no longer shows the Google+ page for the business in its search results.

Why not?

Because the Google Places API, which used to show the Google+ page in its response, now returns a Google Maps page instead.

I haven’t seen any announcement of this, but the docs on the Place Details Request have been changed.

The example response now shows this for the URL instead of a Google+ page:

http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=10281119596374313554

And the description of what’s in that field now says:

“url contains the URL of the official Google page for this place. This will be the Google-owned page that contains the best available information about the place. Applications must link to or embed this page on any screen that shows detailed results about the place to the user.”

Those maps.google.com links bring up a regular Google map with a pushpin. If you click on the pushpin, you get the business info that you’d have gotten from many other kinds of searches, and that WOULD HAVE BEEN stored in the Google+ page for the business. Is it still stored there today? Who knows, but clearly some sort of divorce is in progress…

Google Places API says goodbye to Google+

In related news, see Mike Blumenthal’s post on weirdly formatted Google+ page URLs.

3 thoughts on “Google Places API Quietly Divorces Google+”

  1. Michael,
    I ran across your post while searching for information about why the Knowledge Panel doesn’t always appear in search results. Now that G+ pages have no way for customers to review businesses, I was planning on telling customers to simply search on Google and click Write a Review in the Knowledge Panel. Google is not making it easy for users to write reviews, yet they are placing so much on said reviews in their algorithm. Do you know anything about how we can get Knowledge Panels to show more consistently?

    1. Knowledge panels show when Google is pretty certain that they know exactly the one website (or entity in their Knowledge Graph, which might be a Google My Business page or a Wikipedia entry etc.) that the user is looking for. So, it tends to show for searches for brand names, and tends NOT to show for general terms for which multiple businesses might be a good match.

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