Yesterday, Jade Wang from the Google My Business support team invited me and a handful of other local search fans to a Google+ Hangout about the new Google My Business dashboard. We were given a product demo and had a great Q&A session.
What You Need to Know
- This a business listing management dashboard update only. The front end of Google+ Local and Google Maps has not changed at all.
- No algorithmic changes. This update will have no effect on how you do local SEO.
- Google My Business is a beautifully designed unified dashboard for managing local listings and Google+ business pages. It replaces old Google Places for Business dashboard and the new (now old) Google+ Local Dashboard.
- The new interface is excellent. It's very intuitive and easy to use. Thank you Google!
- As of yesterday, 99.95% of business listings worldwide will have been updgraded to Google My Business. The only listings that haven't been migrated to the new dashboard are dual claimed listings that are directly or indirectly in conflict with a large merchant with a bulk feed. They will be sorting these issues out in the next few weeks.
- The Google Places Quality Guidelines haven't changed as a result of this.
- Name confusion still exists. You can continue calling your public local listing on Google whatever you prefer. The available choices I'm aware of are: Google+ Local Listing, Google Places Listing, Google Place Page, Plus Local Listing, Plus Local Page, Google+ Local Page. If it helps, the official Google My Business Documentation refers to a listing as a "Local Google+ Page". Personally, I plan to switch to using that variation to be consistent with Google.
- An Android app already exists for managing your listings on the go. Cool!
- An iOS app will be released sometime in the next 2 weeks. Nice!
- Bulk feed users will be unaffected by this update. They are working on improvements to the bulk interface and plan to have an update ready in the coming months.
What Should You Do Now?
- Log in to your account and check it out. Enjoy a beautiful, intuitive, easy to use interface for managing your listings and Google+ Business pages.
- You might want to read the official announcement.
- Carry on with business as usual.
What do you think of Google My Business? Did I miss any important "need to knows"? Leave a comment!