Google declared that it has made significant changes to Google Maps. This includes changing the entire interface of Google Maps and also making it much more user friendly.
One change that is sure to be loved by all users is that once you click on a particular area of the map, you will be able to view a list of hotels, businesses, and restaurants in that area. This feature will be especially useful for travelers that may wish to see places of interest near their hotel.
Google has also integrated a lot of data from Google+, which will now be displayed on Google Maps. If you are a business with a presence on Google+ then now is the time to spruce up your listing as well as provide the latest data, business hours, photos, and reviews connected with your business.
Reviews, especially positive ones will achieve increased importance and you will need to aggressively collect reviews on your business through Google+ since this feature will enable your business to pop up more often when people click on your area on Google Maps.
Google search results are clearly merged with Google Maps since in case a user searches for a coffee shop, he or she will not only be presented with a list of coffee shops in that area along with the map, but will also be able to view blurbs for each coffee shop.
Google Maps also displays ads in a far more detailed manner than before. Instead of looking at colorful pins previously displayed on Google Maps, users will now see actual ads in snippet form along with any special deals or related information in those ads. However, these ads are currently in test mode only and are only displayed on desktops and not on mobiles.
Currently, Google offers the new Maps only by invitation and you can go to the Help section to get a preview of the new Google Maps. The company has also stated that users of Maps can now utilize the 1 to 5 star-system to rate businesses instead of the 30 point Zagat scale even though Zagat reviews will still remain accessible.