Google My Business – What You Need to Know

Yesterday, Jade Wang from the Google My Business support team invited me and a handful of other local search fans to a Google+ Hangout about the new Google My Business dashboardWe were given a product demo and had a great Q&A session.

Mike Blumenthal and Linda Buquet have done an excellent job covering the details already, so I’m going to keep this short and just write about what I think you need to know.

Google My Business Screenshot

What You Need to Know

  1. This a business listing management dashboard update only. The front end of Google+ Local and Google Maps has not changed at all.
  2. No algorithmic changes. This update will have no effect on how you do local SEO.
  3. Google My Business is a beautifully designed unified dashboard for managing local listings and Google+ business pages. It replaces old Google Places for Business dashboard and the new (now old) Google+ Local Dashboard.
  4. The new interface is excellent. It’s very intuitive and easy to use. Thank you Google!
  5. As of yesterday, 99.95% of business listings worldwide will have been updgraded to Google My Business. The only listings that haven’t been migrated to the new dashboard are dual claimed listings that are directly or indirectly in conflict with a large merchant with a bulk feed. They will be sorting these issues out in the next few weeks.
  6. The Google Places Quality Guidelines haven’t changed as a result of this.
  7. Name confusion still exists. You can continue calling your public local listing on Google whatever you prefer.  The available choices I’m aware of are: Google+ Local Listing, Google Places Listing, Google Place Page, Plus Local Listing, Plus Local Page, Google+ Local Page. If it helps, the official Google My Business Documentation refers to a listing as a “Local Google+ Page”. Personally, I plan to switch to using that variation to be consistent with Google.
  8. An Android app already exists for managing your listings on the go. Cool!
  9. An iOS app will be released sometime in the next 2 weeks. Nice!
  10. Bulk feed users will be unaffected by this update. They are working on improvements to the bulk interface and plan to have an update ready in the coming months.


What Should You Do Now?

  1. Log in to your account and check it out. Enjoy a beautiful, intuitive, easy to use interface for managing your listings and Google+ Business pages.
  2. You might want to read the official announcement.
  3. Carry on with business as usual.


What do you think of Google My Business? Did I miss any important “need to knows”? Leave a comment!


Darren Shaw

Darren Shaw founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren's passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.

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  • Austin Harthun

    Nice review Darren. I really like the new My Business dashboard. It has a clean design and it’s simple and easy to use (I especially like the upgraded Insights section). So far I’m impressed. Good job Google!

  • Nice rundown, Darren. I’d only add what I asked Jade about yesterday: besides having been renamed, the Google Places Quality Guidelines haven’t changed as a result of this.

  • Darren Shaw

    Ah, yes, excellent point Phil. I’ll update the post!

  • All together now:
    Local Google+ Page,
    Local Google+ Page,
    Local Google+ Page,
    Local Google+ Page,
    Local Google+ Page.

  • Ben

    Darren, great post. I really appreciate the info as we manage over 80 of our Crocs Retail locations around Europe. This concise summary is perfect and helped a lot. Cheers.

  • Thanks for the run down, Darren. Sounds like business as usual for us local seo’ers.

  • This is a great rundown of the basics here on the update – with no nonsense speak. Thanks.

  • Nice run down of the new features Darren. I really like this update. Google’s local team did a great job listening.

  • Hi, Darren.
    You did not miss anything as regards the overview. In my own opinion, I think if used effectively, this new platform is a gold mine for business owners, it makes it very easy to navigate around Google tools, even as a novice.

    I have a blog post written on how it can be used effectively for business promotion and how to get started ( http://leverstand.com/2014/06/google-business-businesses-tutorial-sign.html) I think your audience would find it resourceful.

    PS: Please if you’re uncomfortable with the link, you can please edit it out before publishing the comment,

  • Very clear summary, Darren. The one disappointment is not resolving the page name issue. It remains a massive point of confusion for SMB’s (and those of us trying to explain it to them.) I’m in with you and Nick P on “Local Google+ page” if that’s the consensus, but it’s kind of amazing, on a global rebrand of this magnitude, that G didn’t complete the loop.

  • Darren, I appreciated your post. As a local SEO it helped me to breathe easy. (ha). However, I noticed that the insights no longer offer the top 10 keywords that were searched when seeing the business’ listing. This data is uber helpful to my clients and I’m more than ticked off we no longer have this important info. Am I missing something here? Why take this info away? (and don’t tell me ‘privacy issues’, because showing the keywords doesn’t infringe on the person’s privacy in any way.

  • love the dashboard but G+ for business pages is so confusing still, many photographers like myself are finding duplicate listings and no way to remove them, one has reviews, others don’t and we are afraid to proceed in google plus but know its essential, to me its so confusing still, read the transfer own for duplicate listings but I don’t want to transfer owner, I want to delete or merge the accounts etc, any tips?

  • Terezija

    I dont know why there is so little traffic on Google Plus, but my question is,when, what an how often to post on Google My Business, what on your private Google Plus Account. Do you need another account on Google Plus for Business ?

  • Darren Shaw

    @Terezija, for businesses, there is pretty much zero value in posting social posts to Google+ now. If you have a community of friends in your personal profile for sharing info with, and you get value from Google+ as a social sharing platform, then go ahead and keep using it. But, for business and SEO purposes, you can and should completely forget about Google+.