Changes to Google My Business in 2017

With Google being the biggest search engine, company and product worldwide, Espresso Web are always on the lookout to find out which new changes that have been made. Whether it’s a small feature added or an entire update, Google are always enforcing new changes to each platform to help keep its status of being the best search engine out there.

To find out exactly what makes Google the best search engine, we have discovered 7 important updates that have been enrolled on Google My Business. This won’t just effect the way in which you advertise online, but how your clients will find you and how your listing will appear on their device.

We all know that Google are well known for constantly updating their products and in 2016 they reportedly updated their products over 1,600 times. So why are we focusing on just 7 new changes? Let’s find out…

1. Google Removes ‘Permanently closed’ Listings

Until just recently, businesses that had their listings as ‘Permanently closed’ could still rank online. Typically showing up after businesses listed as open, these businesses would still show up for people searching for their past services. Not only was this clogging up Google’s data, it was providing unnecessary information for people looking for a place, service or product that they were interested in.

2. Goodbye Google Plus

Although it hasn’t actually gone forever, Google Plus has became a separate feature to Google My Business. Up until a few months ago, both products supported each other and worked together. Now, you will see that the ability to access the classic version of Google Plus has now been removed. We at Espresso Web suggest that if you were using Google Plus previously to continue using it to post only if you receive engagement from doing so. Sending random posts on this platform that gain no interest won’t help your business, unless they still get shares, comment or +1s. If you do receive interaction from your Google Plus updates, continue to use it as a separate product, otherwise Espresso Web suggest that you prepare for it be removed permanently.

3. Google Launches Platform to Review Edits

Since the closure of ‘MapMaker’ there had been rumours that reviewing edits was no longer possible, but this is not true. Google have had the ability to review edits on Google Maps for a long while now, but mobile users were unaware of this. So in March this year, Google released ‘Check the Facts’ on desktop for users to review and edit their listings hassle free. It isn’t of the same level as MapMaker but it allows users to approve or deny each other’s edits on business listings.

4. ‘Pending edits’ Removed from Google Maps

Once upon a time, spammers were attacking legit business listings by reporting them as spam or leaving false information. This would then mean that the listings would show up with a pending status. Google quickly learnt that this was being misused and took away the ability to have edits pending on a listing. If your listing does get reported as spam, our advice is not to worry unless the edit is published. For help on how to avoid this happening on your listing, Espresso Web are happy to provide advice or we suggest that you contact Google to discuss your problem.

5. Snack Pack

The ‘Snack Pack’ was first released in the USA and has been designed to provide the missing information on your Google My Business page. It is slightly different from the ‘3-pack’ but it will retrieve any missing information of your business such as: a website link, address or driving directions and add them for you. While you may think that you have one less thing to worry about, you could be wrong. This Snack Pack product can pick up the wrong information of your business or similar businesses to add to your listing. Not only that, if you don’t have a logo added to your listing, you could have a stock image added instead that doesn’t fit the right message of your business. Watch out for the Snack Pack and make sure that your listing is 100% completed before it’s done for you.

6. 18 Months of Data

If you’re interested in the analytics or insights of your listing, you’ll be pleased to hear that they will now back date to 18 months previous. This is a huge update for those of you who like to compare your data as you can now work with year on year data as well as month on month. Here, you will be able to discover whether your business has done better from the year previous and even section out any months that did better or worse than the average. This will be highly beneficial for seasonal businesses as it will help determine where and when your business thrives online.

7. Google Ads Take Mobile

With Google AdWords always being a desktop based feature, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s going to mobile too. So as well as on a desktop, the Ads will appear first on mobile search. This may make organic search even more difficult to show on the first page, but with most searches complete on mobile, Google AdWords couldn’t miss out too. So when you’re looking for a restaurant or plumber near you, you may notice the little ‘Ad’ symbol show on your first Google My Business result, meaning that company paid to show first!

Moving Forward with Google My Business

Espresso Web are proud to be moving forward with Google My Business and are happy to provide any support and advice on how your business can too. Whether it’s management of your Google My Business account or showing you the ropes, we’re always happy to help. We hope that this article has helped educate you on the 7 important updates on Google My Business and if you do have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on 01642 931 380.

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