Google Changes Places to My Business: Here’s What You Should Know

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Google placesEarlier this week, Google rolled out it’s new My Business dashboard. It’s quite an upgrade from Google Places and Plus for small businesses.

Jade Wang from the My Business support team invited a select few to take a first look at the impressive new dashboard. This involved a product demo, along with an enlightening Q&A session. Now, we’re going to give you the low-down about what you can expect from My Business, and why you should be excited.

Addressing the needs of small businesses

It’s taken Google a few years of switching around, with various upgrades of Places and merging Local with Plus. But Google now seems to be reaching a point where it can give small businesses the support they need, in terms of a solid and sound platform.

My Business is now available worldwide, in a satisfying 236 countries and 65 languages. Google claims it’s the biggest merchant-facing launch they’ve ever rolled out. It will be fully compatible on desktop, iOS and Android devices.

What is it?

If like many, you’re still unsure exactly what Google My Business does. Why you should care? Below are some of its main features and functions.
• A single business-facing umbrella for social and places messaging.
• A newly updated interface designed for editing all your Plus Pages.
• Places and Plus are now fully integrated.
• Provides you with a unified portal which gives access to a wealth of Google business tools for SMB.
• A springboard with plenty of room for future development.
• Not for the big fish

This upgrade isn’t really for large, location-based companies. The Bulk dashboard is still only in its transition phase. Bulk users have the joy of that changeover in front of them, but not for a while yet.

Down to business

Another thing to bear in mind is that Google My Business doesn’t really focus on the social aspects of Google Plus. So it’s not really a place for recreation.

The details
Here are some other important things you need to know about My Business:

• This is mainly a dashboard update, with no real changes to the front end of Google Maps and Google+ Local
• There are no algorithmic changes, so the way you do SEO will not be affected
• It boasts a unified design for managing local business listings and Google+ business pages
• It has an easy to use, user-intuitive interface
• 99.95 per cent of worldwide business listings have now been upgraded to My Business
• There are no changes to the Google Places Quality Guidelines

There’s still a bit of name confusion. You can still refer to your public local listing on Google however you like, such as Google Places listing, Google+ Local Listing, Google Place Page, Google+ Local Page… the list goes on.

The Android app is already up, with the iOS app soon to follow, once it’s been approved by iTunes.

An improvement?

What are your impressions of the new Google My Business dashboard? Let us know in the comments section below.

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