Local SEO | June 12, 2014
Google MyBusiness: Everything You Need to Know
Things are about to change again for Businesses, and for the better, with the introduction of Google MyBusiness. But what does it all mean?
What? Google is evolving!
Yes – Here’s the proof
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll know that Google has made great efforts to try and consolidate all of its products into one singular access point.
This singular access point was then coated with all the goodness that is Google+ – Google’s attempt at tapping into the Social Media market.
However, it was the way in which Google+ was launched, followed by subsequent upgrading of accounts that left many businesses alienated. What was the point of all this change? Do I essentially need to start all over again? These were the kind of questions businesses were asking, and it’s easy to see why.
But don’t worry: Google has been listening carefully, toiling away in secret, and biding its time…
Why do we need Google MyBusiness?
The problem really stems from the simple fact that businesses want their brand to show up for two things online:
- Organic Results
- Local Maps Results
These are managed by two entirely different algorithms, and started out as two entirely different products. Good placement in organic search doesn’t necessarily guarantee good local presence, and vice versa. In fact, if maps results hadn’t started appearing in universal search, there would hardly be any overlap at all.
But, with a Google+ skin applied on top of both products, it suddenly became very easy to confuse the two. It’s a bit like two twin siblings; completely different but they’re kinda similar looking and are equally vying for your attention.
Using this twin sibling analogy, if anything does go wrong with your business’ online presence, it can be very difficult to pinpoint the blame. Lost local traffic? Well, that could be a dodgy knowledge graph surfacing from the depths, a re-categorization based on citation data, a fragmentation of your business across multiple pages, or anything in between. So, if you assumed that your listings would stay the same if you just let them be, you were wrong.
If you did take the plunge and try fixing things yourself, there was a myriad of conflicting advice not just across the web, but from Google themselves. It would be entirely possible to make just one simple mistake and end up with the wrong kind of Page, and if you did so it was difficult to put it right.
Finally, if your business wasn’t ready to change everything and go social, you could find that change suddenly forced upon you, leaving your online strategy in a confusing state.
The main problem with just one Google+ for everyone is that business users and individuals simply don’t use Google products in the same way.
Thankfully, it seems that Google have realised this and have been working to put things right – Google MyBusiness is the culmination of that process.
How did Google MyBusiness Evolve?
Instead of using the same approach as before, this product has been developed for a long time using insight and feedback over the last couple of years from some of the biggest names in Local SEO. It was then soft launched last week to those same big names (my invite must’ve been lost in the post), so they could get some hands-on time and learn all there is to know.
All of which means that Google MyBusiness isn’t some subtle rebranding, but potentially the paradigm shift that we’ve all been looking for. It has been nudged, tweaked and honed into a one-stop-shop for all business needs:
- Maps Listings
- Google+ Brand Pages
- YouTube Videos
- Local Adverts
- Google Analytics
There’s even an accompanying app for iPhone and Android platforms, so you can stay in control of your business’ online activities on the go.
When can I set up Google MyBusiness?
Well now, actually. The new Google MyBusiness website is already live, with accompanying Android and iPhone Apps on the way soon.
Unlike previous upgrades, there should be no delays in the roll-out, with over 200 regions supported and 65 languages available. In fact if you just login to your account, you could be in for a pleasant surprise, as many accounts have already upgraded automatically.
Stuck? There’s a full set of FAQs on the Google MyBusiness help page
For anything else, there’s always time to learn…keep your eyes peeled on this blog for more news and commentary as our business gets to know more about MyBusiness.