This is a great post by Understanding Google.
Last week Google Places updated the display of the Places Page. In doing so they removed the review summaries, review snippets and 3rd party citations from the page. They removed a number of other fields from the Places display as well.
Quite a few readers have asked where this field or that field has gone and whether it is returning or why it is not displaying so I am reposting Google Places Community Manager Vanessagene‘s comments from the Google Places forums to make explicit what else is not showing:
Seeing a lot of questions in the forum, let me just clarify a couple things about the new Place pages. The following info you provide may not appear on your Place page, but it’s all still used to help us understand more about your business:
• Email address
• Optional attributes / Additional details
• Service area toggle “Show service area”
So just because we’re not showing it, doesn’t mean it’s not helpful for us to have — it helps our system ensure that your organic listing appears and ranks appropriately on Google and Google Maps when potential customers perform searches related to your service.
For more info about ranking, check out this blog post:
Hope this helps,
Google has always contended that the content on the Places Page was informed by what searchers found useful. Whether this removal of the information reflects that ethos, the desire to make the page more visually streamlined or whether Google is making space for additional (money making?) features is unclear at this point.
A number of readers in the forum were displeased with Google’s decision to remove this data and the post comments are worth a read. The most salient being that it makes little sense to provide all of these details to Google if Google is not going to show them. Regardless, I would presume that the above fields of data are not coming back to the Places page any time soon.
On a related note there is still a bug on a number of Places pages where the business description is not showing. Google’s intention is to show the description on the page. They are aware of the bug and, one presumes, that they will locate and display that data some day.