All 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: