Google My Business: Google's Answer For Local Business Woes

Jun 12, 2014 • 8:43 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Maps
 

Google My Business LogoAll of you who read here daily know about many issues Google has with Google Local, Google+ Local, Google Places, Google Maps for Business and all the other names Google has for it. It is a disaster, but Google My Business is aimed to fix all of that.

Building a single place, under the Google+ umbrella, where business owners can manage and connect with customers via search, maps and Google+.

Google announced this yesterday and it was a big deal, it is a big deal.

Here is what you currently can do with it:

  • Update your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
  • Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
  • Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
  • Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews
  • Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
  • Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app (launching soon)

Those in the Google Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard will be automatically upgraded to this new experience.

Here are some FAQs from Google's Jade Wang:

Who can sign up?

Any business can benefit from signing up for a My Business account, especially local businesses. Companies with a physical storefront or small-to-midsized businesses that rely heavily on search and location accuracy often notice tangible benefits from having their business found on Google, and signing up to Google My Business is one way to help local businesses be found on Google. These can also include service businesses serving a local area like a plumber or a cleaning service that may not have a physical storefront but can benefit from being found on the map.

We will be rolling out the Google My Business dashboard to existing users of the new Places dashboard and the Google+ pages dashboard. We are continuing to migrate users from the old Places dashboard to the new experience.

Please visit our Help Center to read more about how both local businesses and brands/organizations/artists can create pages using Google My Business.

Will this require small businesses to sign up for a Google+ account?

Our focus is on providing a useful experience to businesses and to empower them to better manage their own information. Businesses that sign up for Google My Business are provided with a Google+ page, but there is always the option to engage with whichever part of the dashboard they choose.

What about chains or bulk upload users?

The Places Bulk Upload Tool is now Google My Business Locations. Through the new tool, businesses can manage information for ten or more locations. We are working hard to launch new functionalities in the future, including increased upload speed and social integration.

How will current businesses on Google be affected by the My Business launch?

Google My Business will act as our primary destination for local businesses previously on Google+ for Business and Pages for Business. We took in some feedback and discovered that it’d be more useful to consolidate those experiences, and create one place with all of our tools for local businesses.

Here are some screen shots of what you can do but make sure to check out google.com/business for more details:

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Forum discussion at Google+, Local Search Forum and Google Business Help.

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Comments:

Thomas Townsend

06/12/2014 06:10 pm

Thats all fine and well. However, they still have not fixed all the duplicate content issues they created. I have several Biz Pages with all sorts of issues that Google has not fixed even with this fancy new label. Common Google lets see some effort in fixing what you broke!

Thomas

06/12/2014 08:29 pm

Agreed. We made a Google+ for our business and then after we moved to a new office we created the Google Local Places page and they automatically created another Google+ page with the listing. There is currently no way to assign our original page to the Local Business Listing page. We didnt want to do the Local Listing first because we knew we were going to move into a bigger office a couple months later. Why dont we have control of something as simple as assigning a page to an account when it is a verified page? The old Google+ page is hooked up to our site and verified. It makes no sense to have a second Google+ page, just confuses our users and gives me one more thing to manage, sucks.

Thomas Townsend

06/12/2014 09:38 pm

It's definitely an issue that feel Google does not have a handle on. I have spent hours on discussions with various support staff from Google and the most recent response!! I was told to delete everything and start over. Even though they know the duplicate content issue is their making ...they have no resolution for it. My understanding is they are gearing this for New and not existing Business. The other key factor is not having a plan to work with SMB with multiple locations. My suggestion was to have 1 Master Page with sections set up for multiple locations.

Tony

06/13/2014 01:59 pm

Google now allows you to merge a Google+ Page with a Google Local Page, I think this is what you are trying to do: http://searchengineland.com/new-connect-google-business-page-google-maps-listing-193256?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

John Maloni

06/14/2014 02:14 pm

Thomas Townsend got it right! Fix the duplicate issues quickly.

Raph

06/19/2014 06:01 am

We are currently facing the issue that we have 100+ verified listings in a single Google Places account. It seems impossible to migrate these to whichever Google+ page because our user has reached the max limit of allowed pages. Also it is impossible to transfer ownership to another user from the old Google Places dashboard. So we're stucked here. Someone suggestions?

Glickly

06/26/2014 03:58 pm

my head hurts.

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