Google’s made a little change to their Local Business Center that could potentially mean more business for some MSPs. Google Places, as its now called, lets businesses show potential customers their service area, advertise their listings locally for peanuts, and provide greater visibility into just how people are finding you. Here’s the scoop.

Apart from the service area demarcation I mentioned, the official blog entry indicates that Google Places lets MSPs pay $25 a month to make their Google and Google Maps listings stand apart from the rest. Right now, that’s only available in select cities Austin, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, but they say it’s hitting more major metropolitan areas sooner rather than later. Presumably the areas around them will be eligible some time after that.

One of the more interesting things Google Places adds to traditional business listings is the ability to generate a QR barcode, readable by any smartphone. Customers can snap a pic on your business card or in your window and be taken to your Place Page.

A lot of the other features are aimed more at traditional retail establishments more than a business like a services provider. But it’s important to note that Google Places lets you hide your address if you don’t actually have an office and still keep a business listing.

If you do use Google Places to promote your business, be sure to let us know how it’s working for you in the comments below.

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