What’s Happening To Google My Business?
“To keep things simple, Google my Business is being renamed Google Business Profile. And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps.” Matt Madrigal, Google Vice President and GM of Merchant Shopping. From mid-July 2022, the Google My Business App is no longer available on mobile devices.
The rebrand to Google Business Profile will bring more than just a name change. The app will be removed from the app store and the big change is that businesses are now encouraged to manage their listings only through Search and Maps instead of the old Google My Business console.
Google’s aim has been to simplify and improve the tool, so let’s investigate how that looks.
Accessing your Google Business Profile (GBP)
The Google My Business App has been retired so you can access your GBP Profile through the Google Maps App or Google Search (both on the web or via your mobile). You will need to be logged in to your Google account to do this.
Accessing your business profile is now as simple and easy as doing a Google search for your business name.
A key change is that businesses with single listings are encouraged to manage their dashboards in Search or Maps, while larger businesses with multiple locations or SEO experts managing a range of different businesses will use Business Profile Manager (although it is currently still possible to for single listings to be managed via the Business Profile Manager but this is likely to change in the near future.
New features added to GBP
Here’s a summary of the new features in GBP, with Google saying that further tools will be added down the line.
You can now do the following directly from Google Maps and Search:
- Claim and verify your business listing
- Send and receive customer messages
- Manage reviews
- Manage Q&As
Centralised control of your business listing
One of the positives of this ‘rebrand’ is that you can now manage a whole lot of features from the same spot.
You’re able to do all the normal stuff on the interface like updating your company information (opening hours, contact details, special events etc), plus you’ll be able to access other elements like Google Ads, and insights (for example, which search queries people are using to find your business and how many views your GBP has been getting etc) and customer questions and messages. Having this data easily accessible in one spot will speed up decision-making and help you optimise your online presence.
Managing Google Business Profile
Manage your profile by clicking on the links at the top of your listing on Google Search
- Insights – click the link where it says the number of views this month for detailed information about how many people clicked on your business listing and what keywords they used to find you. You can also see calls from your listing and website clicks.
- Promote- this will give you hints and tips on what you can do to promote your business and encourage you to add photos, ask for reviews and add a Google post with a business update, offer or event (or advertise with Google Ads)
- Customers –here you can reply to reviews and respond to messages and Q & A’s from customers.
Multiple locations now catered for
In making the changes, Google is endeavouring to provide business owners with improved tools for managing their online presence, based on the size, scale and needs of their operation.
While smaller entities will use the rebranded GBP to manage their business profiles online just as they always have (only better), the Google My Business web experience has been remodelled and renamed ‘Business Profile Manager’.
Through this, Google aims to support bigger businesses which often have multiple locations or SEO agencies managing multiple listings for clients. It’s easy for businesses to scale ‘up’ to Business Profile Manager if they expand. Further changes to this are expected in the coming months, but no details have been confirmed as yet.
To wrap up
Going forward, features from the old Google My Business web interface will be incorporated into Search, Maps and other Google apps. Brands can now request and claim verification of their profile as well as manage a variety of other elements through these apps as opposed to having to go through a separate interface.
Google expects the changes will result in an ‘upgraded experience’ and will post updates as and when they are rolled out. Personally I am not convinced about this update as an upgraded experience and still prefer to manage everything through Google Business Profile (as I think it’s laid out nicely).
We know that people use Google to search and find places all the time. The new Google Business Profile with its consolidated interface and new features and functionality is a no-brainer for businesses of all sizes which value customer interaction and which want to attract new ones. If you’re new to Google Business Profile, check out our FREE beginners guide.
Keen to know how to make Google Business Profile work for your business? By signing up for The SEO School, you’ll get my expert guidance and support as you implement proven tools and techniques like GBP that will help your business get found online. Find out more at The SEO School.
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