Last year, Google introduced the Google+ Dashboard to help business owners unify the monitoring and management of their information across Google services like Maps, Search, AdWords, and the social network Google+. The dashboard served as a central place to track online reviews, improve their online presence (at least on Google’s sites), and update their local business data.
Recently, Google (again) revamped and rebranded the dashboard. It is now called Google My Business (www.google.com/mybusiness), a streamlined place for managing and updating your business information (and how it appears on Maps, Google+, and Search), adding photos, connecting with fans and customers, tracking Google reviews, viewing data about how people interact with your business and brand, and more.
“The rollout of Google My Business is significant in many, many ways,” says local search expert Mike Blumenthal. “First, it puts the messy transition and confusion of Places, Plus, etc. behind us and provides a single portal for SMBs to interact with Google. Second, it demonstrates a significant commitment on the part of Google to allocate adequate resources to providing necessary tools for SMBs. This is a big change from 2 or 3 years ago.”
“Third, it is a clear statement that Google Plus isn’t going away but is being better integrated into their suite of business marketing tools,” Blumenthal said. “And fourth, My Business, as a platform, allows Google to quickly develop and integrate new functionality and they have indicated to me that they have lots of cool new capabilities coming.”
Are you a business owner hoping to establish your online presence on Google and across the Web? By signing into Google My Business, you can:
- Be found on the Web through Google Search results
- Have your verified business information appear on Google Maps
- Build your business’ Google+ page, with reviews, ratings, and pictures
- Post updates like news, special offers, links, photos, videos, and events on Google+
- Respond to Google reviews
- Connect face-to-face with your customers via Google Hangouts
- Manage your information using the Google My Business mobile app
- Understand your customers’ behavior by checking Google Insights
Important information: If you previously used Google Places for Business, Google+ Local, or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business information, your account has been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.