The New Google Places Dashboard And What Businesses Should Know
Google announced some significant changes to their Google Places dashboard. The importance of local has been emphasized by Google for some time now. These changes are huge in how ‘local’ is handled by Google. A recent article from Myles Anderson at SearchEngineLand.com broke down the changes Google is laying out.
Phased Rollout – Changes Still To Come
This is just the early stages of this new layout. There are many changes and improvements to come in the following months.
New Profiles Only
The new dashboard is only available to new listings. For those with existing listings will have to wait until the rollout is available for them.
Easier & Faster
The new dashboard is easier to use and updates information into their Knowledge Graph data structure which in turn allows you to publish to the Google+ Local page faster
Verification Process is still the same
Businesses still need to get a PIN via mail, phone call or SMS. But it appears that Google is dedicating a customer support team to oversee the process. That should be a huge help.
Helpful Interface Guides
There are now less fields to complete and now Google has inline tips on how to best utilize the various fields.
Don’t merge yet
Google advises businesses not to merge their Google Local Listing with their Google+ Local page yet due to the fact that there are still many issues with the process.
Video uploads and social elements for Google+ users only
For businesses to upload videos to their Local page, they will need to have a Google+ user account. Google has acknowledged the issue and is working on the kinks.
Service Area Businesses get a Google+ Local Page
Businesses that provide services in certain areas can now have a Google+ Local page and hide their address if they wish.
More categories but no custom categories
The new dashboard allows businesses to select up to 10 categories from a pre-defined list. Although the ability to create custom categories no longer exists.
Analytics aren’t the best
There is still no improvement on reporting on your Google+ Listings. Businesses will still get only an approximate on views, clicks and calls to action. Hopefully Google will sort this out.