Did you get an email in the last couple of weeks from Google about Google My Business?
It’s the latest change in Google’s seemingly never ending attempt to sort out the mess that is local search.
A bit of history
Once upon a time Google had a great idea to show some search results on little maps. Perfect if you are searching for local businesses like coffee shops, florists etc.
Where they managed to make a right mess of it was in the way business owners could manage their business listings. This was called Google Places and was a real pain to set up.
Things got even more complicated when Google decided that one way to boost their Google+ social network was to bring those local listings into the Google+ platform. A period of around 18 months running both side by side only served to confuse us poor business owners even more (and presumably the guys at Google too)
A few months ago they finally completed the migration of all the old Places listings into Google+.
Now they’ve rebranded it Google My Business (are they hoping we’ll forget what’s gone before?).
I created a Google Local listing some time ago. And then, before the two merged, I set up a Google+ business page for Paprika Marketing.
The Google+ page gets updated occasionally and has a few followers.
Now Google have transformed my Local listing into a new Google+ page. This has a little tick next to the logo (if I had one) to say it’s a verified local business.
So I have 2. One has my business info, photos, posts and followers. The other appears on local search but also has a customer review – and reviews are an important factor for local search.
Now local search isn’t especially important for me. But for many small businesses it’s vital.
What to do if you have 2 pages
It is possible to connect a different Google+ page to your verified local listing as explained in this article.
I have just done this for Paprika Marketing and – it worked!
My review and map listing have now been transferred across.
As you can see from the comments in the article that isn’t always the case, but if, like me, it’s not critical for your business then try it.
What to do if you have no pages
If you haven’t yet set up a Places listing OR a Google+ local page then it’s a good idea to get it set up now. Go to Google My Business and follow the instructions.
What do to if you’re not sure
If you are not appearing in map search and think you should be, or you’re not sure what on earth Google has done with your pages, then give me a call. I’m happy to take a look at it for you and advise on the next step free of charge.
Hopefully, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel and those businesses who rely on local search can look at optimising their local search pages to bring more customers and business – without the risk of Google messing it all up again.