Oh, how we remember the days of Google Places for business and all the difficulty that caused for service area businesses.
Then Google+Local came along and there were months of confusion with upgraded pages, un-upgraded dashboards, and missing reviews. Discerning the difference between a verified Google+Local page and a verified Google+Business page and when to use which one was baffling even for experienced business owners.
Then…just last week, Google made a big announcement and introduced major changes to the interface businesses use to manage their presence on the search engine.
Great. Time to figure something else out. Here we go.
“Google My Business” is a streamlined interface, giving businesses a single login point regardless of what type of business they are. That main access point gives you access and control over your presence in Google Maps, allows you to manage your YouTube channel, respond to customer reviews, and use Google+ social features.
Compared to the previous multiple login situation, it is an improvement, but the previous fits and starts means that many businesses have multiple accounts managing a single service which creates a challenge in trying to merge those accounts and properties without losing anything (like reviews) in the process. Furthermore, unless you’re highly familiar with Google+, there are a lot of things like adding managers or changing how YouTube comments appear that may present a real challenge.
This shift toward a unified presentation for businesses clearly highlights the importance of using Google+ social features. While there’s been no indication that use of Google+ is a ranking factor yet, it would be wise to make sure your Google+ page(s) are in good shape given Google’s emphasis on Google+ as a backbone for multiple services.
If you have questions about Google+, Google+Local, YouTube, or anything else related to how your business appears in Google’s search results, give The Primm Company a call at 757-623-6234.