The latest offering from the folks at Google is directly relevant to small and local business. Google My Business is a one-stop page for merchants to manage their presence on various Google products, from search, maps and Google+, Google Analytics, as well as Hangouts. This is Google’s attempt to take some of Facebook’s thunder, by allowing its users to post and share news, events and images once, and see them populate over the entirety of their Google services.
Businesses that have been using Google+ or Places for Business will see themselves soon transitioned to the new platform. There is an Android app right now, and we suspect an iOS version is right around the corner.
So how will this one work?
It looks like the primary advantage to this new offering is that all of your Google services are now under one roof. That, and the fact that the ease of updating and populating all of your properties is much simpler. When you log into Google My Business initially, you’ll notice that Google has taken the liberty of populating your account using what you’ve put into the other Google properties. You have the chance to fix or change anything you need to easily.
Next up is the guts of the operation. On one simple screen you can access the following:
- Google+ Shares
- Google Insights
- Customer Reviews
- Google Analytics
- Google Hangouts
It’s easy to access these form here, and you can do anything you’d normally be able to do, even start a Hangout. You can get to those functions from this screen and add content, manage review as well as start a Hangout.
Is this the end of Google+?
It might be too soon to tell what this all means for Google+. For now, just think of this as a change of address. At this moment there doesn’t seem to be any loss of functions for Google+ and it may actually benefit from the automated atmosphere and better organization this delivers.