Local Search Professionals Debate Google My Business Makeover
In light of its recent rebranding and new profile management tools, it may be an indication that Google is enhancing services for multi-location companies and promoting adoption with SMBs through profile controls in Search and Maps.
My curiosity was piqued by what industry experts thought of the adjustments and whether or not they'd be making any changes of their own in response.
Let's take a closer look at each of the aforementioned alterations and hear from the general public about their experiences.
Think of the action as Google My Business but the modification as being made to your business's 'Profile." Everything will now be referred to as "Google Business Profiles" and "Google Business Profile Manager" by Google.
According to experts, change doesn't really matter, and in fact, it's going to make it simpler for agencies and consultants to explain the discipline of local SEO and profile optimisation to their customers.
This kind of reminds me of when they shifted from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console.
However, while the GBP name offers some clarity about what the product is, for current users I don't believe this matters, I guess for organisations that this is all new to, it could assist them better comprehend what this service is. Because of this, I believe Google's objective is to get more SMBs to use the service.
We'll return to the idea of making the service more appealing to small and medium-sized businesses.
As of this year, Google's My Business mobile app will be decommissioned.
One of the major adjustments stated in the initial announcement was the deprecation of the Google My Business dedicated mobile app in 2022, keeping with the theme of items being decommissioned.
Depending on whether you're a local company owner who enjoys the convenience of GMB Messaging or a local SEO agency who is fed up with the app's restrictions, you may welcome or worry this move.
This change is the only thing I really believe is altering, if someone had become used to utilising it, they could have an adjustment.On our business, I can tell you that I just utilised it once or twice.
Google's decision to remove this feature from the app, which was aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that wanted to manage their businesses while on the road, is surprising. An even better profile management experience is on the way: the option to edit and modify your Business Profile right there in the SERP, which will be available in the near future.
The 'direct edit' management of the company's business profile
The simplest method to manage your profile is now via Google Maps and Search. Search and Maps will soon offer more tools to assist you better understand how your business is doing and how you can improve your online presence.
Logging into your Google Account and searching for your business name has been around for over a year now. It's that simple.
In order to make this method of account administration more appealing to account owners, additional functionality has been added from the old Google My Business interface. Businesses no longer require a separate dashboard to claim, verify, and even resolve suspension of their Business Profiles.
It is more useful to companies who do not have a marketing person/agency in place, as they can now make their modifications right in the SERP.
Even if you use Google Business Profile Manager, the straight edit experience isn't same. When it comes to Google Posts, for example, you can put them up in the direct edit experience, but you can't update or manage your Google Products and Services, which still need to be done through the Business Profile Manager.
The new search interface can provide a good small business user experience for adding the many details and turning on and managing the many features available in Google Local without becoming a nightmare while not overcomplicating things.
There is more to the Google Business Profile Manager than just a rebrand
Google has done a good job communicating these changes thus far, but one component of the release caused some confusion among advertising agencies. Google has the following to say about the GMB dashboard, which is used by thousands of agencies every day to manage numerous client profiles.
The Google My Business website will be renamed 'Business Profile Manager' to serve larger organisations with numerous profiles. Larger companies can still maintain their own accounts on Search and Maps. Smaller firms will increasingly manage their own profiles directly on Search and Maps, as we expect.
Single-listing merchants will still be able to use the Google Business Profile Manager (previously GMB Web), which is not going anywhere.
If you take a step back, this all makes sense. A software corporation, Google uses massive data sets to make judgments about where to invest their time and money.
Agencies may still manage in bulk and via the API; nothing has changed there.
So, if you're an agency with clients, you may continue to manage them using the Google Business Profile Manager. GBPM isn't unique to multi-location enterprises managing several profiles for a single organisation, but it does seem like Google has more potential to enhance those handling local SEO at scale, with single-business features concentrated elsewhere.
There are others who believe that the long-term lack of attention to and greater emphasis on Google's web interface is an indicator that Google is about to kill the Dashboard. I, as an eternal optimist, believe that Google will restore the Dashboard and make it usable again. If you would like to find out more on how we can help you with Local SEO, contact us today.