The bottom line is that the search giant Google wants more businesses online. In order to push, promote and achieve that goal, Google has attempted to merge both local business information and search results with a more social platform like Google+. It is called Google My Business.
Here’s the sales pitch from Google: “Get your business on Google for free.”
A lot of small businesses want an online presence, but they are sometimes reluctant to launch a digital campaign because they either aren’t educated enough themselves, not sure of what companies or resources to pull on for help and/or haven’t allotted room in their budget for digital marketing.
Google My Business wants to solve all of those problems with a series of simple clicks. For starters, wherever people are using Google products on whatever device, they can find your business. That means crosslinking—when users are on a tablet, smartphone or personal computer, and whether they are conducting a search, on Maps or Google+, your company’s information can appear.
Another selling point is it makes it easier for customers and owners to directly communicate with one another. From Google.com: “Give customers the right info at the right time, whether that be driving directions to your business in Maps, hours of operations in Search or a phone number they can click to call you on mobile phones.”
Lastly, Google My Business allows owners to explain and defend themselves. If there is a negative review, the platform creates a forum to directly engage with consumers.
The future of local listings will once again be tested.