Marketers must pay attention to the Google Maps app update, which appears to pull local search results from companies' Google+ pages.

Google recently unveiled its new Maps application for smartphones and tablets. First available on Android devices, the search engine plans to roll the new platform out for iPhones and iPads soon. With this release, Google promises to make it easier for internet users to discover businesses, navigate traffic, avoid travel disruptions, read Zagat reviews and find relevant offers. Marketers may need to consider how their decision to invest in a strong Google+ presence will impact local search and social visibility.

It appears the Maps app pulls local listings from businesses’ Google+ profiles and displays reviews from Zagat, a site it owns. What might be the search engine’s attempt to streamline may actually impact brands’ discoverability – and ultimately, sales – if they have chosen to prioritize Facebook, Twitter or Yelp marketing efforts over those on Google-sponsored sites.

Marketers who fail to invest in Google+ and build adequate company profiles with engaging web content might lose business to competitors active on the platforms supported by the search engine.

Marketers may need G+ profiles to show up on Google's new Maps app.

Brafton recently reported that Google is also trying to make it easier for users’ digital content to gain exposure on the web. Google+ announced content will be shared in wider social circles following a recent update that highlights +1’d content in connections’ news feeds.

This feature could make it easier for brands to quickly gain traction on the networks. Establishing large circles, populating pages with valuable online content and receiving a high volume of shares might provide companies local SEO benefits in the new Maps app.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.