Google is in the process of shutting down its collection of city pages - a change that follows the shift from Google Places to Google+ Local, and a change that may be reflective of a larger shift in direction for Google’s local efforts.
Google is essentially saying that the old pages have been made redundant thanks to Google+ Local. But the new Google+ pages don’t have the same feature set as the old city pages. There are no local businesses getting the “recommended places” label, for example, and there’s no page that lists Google Offers. So it’s not an exact replacement that Google’s making, at least not at this point.
What’s unclear is the impact - if any - that the change is having on Google’s physical presence in each city. A Google spokesperson told Mike Blumenthal yesterday that “Community Managers are still working with local businesses in a variety of cities around the world,” but there are signs that not all cities are still active in this aspect of Google’s local efforts. For example, the Google+ Local team in Portland is still very active on Twitter and on its new Google+ Local Page, but the original San Diego community manager is now a former Google Places Community Manager. The Google San Diego Twitter account hasn’t posted in more than a year, and there’s no San Diego page that I can find in Google+ Local.
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