Google loves to trot out changes – usually when you are just getting used to what you’re already dealing with – and true to form, they’ve got some serious mods coming your way in the Google Business Profile (GBP) arena. User questions and concerns about managing social profiles and the presentation of Local Services Ads have captured Google’s attention, and they’re rolling out updates in response.
Manage Your Social Media Links Manually
In the past, connecting your social media profiles with your GBP was a struggle, but Google heard you. As such, it is bestowing you with the ability to manage our own social media links – and not a moment too soon. While Google used to take it upon themself to add these links to GBPs, the process was clunky, and too many businesses ended up with the wrong links – with no effective mechanism in place for rectifying these burdensome errors.
If you’re ready to add social media links to your GBP – or if you are more than ready to edit the ones that are already there – access Google’s New Merchant Experience (NMX) and head on over to the Edit profile button, navigate to Contact, scroll to the Social profiles space, and get busy adding those links.
When your potential customers out there search for and find you online, the first thing they come across is very likely your GBP, which is great. If they need to find you on social media, however, it used to mean a separate search, which is a barrier to finding you in a timely manner. With Google’s latest addition, finding you on social media is as easy as clicking on that conveniently located link.
Image and Video Rejections: Google Drops the Cloak of Mystery
When Google chose to reject an image or video in the past, it didn’t necessarily provide much – or any – information about the wisdom behind it. In its ongoing efforts to become more transparent, Google is implementing guidelines that address the kinds of issues that are most likely to warrant rejection, including:
- Images and videos that present technical concerns
- Images and videos that are not fully verified
- Images and videos that are associated with an inactivated personal account
- Images and videos that are associated with a suspended GBP
- Images and videos that contain duplicative content
This tweak on Google’s part also affords you the opportunity to appeal a rejection through a support form – in search of greater clarity and reconsideration in relation to your rejected image or video.
Customer Reviews: Posted, Not Posted
When Google, in its infinite wisdom, decides not to post a review, the review itself goes into a kind of no man’s land that tends to leave everyone involved confused. Flagged reviews that don’t post to related business profiles are – seemingly arbitrarily – labeled as published, rejected, or pending. Only the author of the review, however, is informed of its status – the business in question is not privy to the information.
Google, it seems, is ready to make changes in this category as well. In Europe, they’ve added a not posted label that alerts businesses and reviewers alike when a specific review doesn’t make the cut. This shift in Google policy could make its way across the globe in the not-too-distant future.
Testing New Feature in Manage Photos
While the scope of Google’s test regarding photo options is relatively small, the implications are promising. Those users who are included in the test see a Manage photos icon in NMX, which in the past was a hidden option that only those managing multiple listings could access. By clicking on a specific image, those in the test are transported directly to it. While this feature doesn’t offer limitless options, it does make managing photos less cumbersome, which is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell if this test sticks.
Back to 2 Local Service Ad Options
In the past, Google displayed a list view of two local service ads (LSAs) in response to search queries, and about a year ago, they transitioned to a carousel display of three LSAs. Currently, Google is looking at switching back to a lineup of only two LSAs. Not sure where this will lead, but when it comes to Google, paying attention to the details is the only way to go.
What It Means for You
Each of the above points covers a concern that users have weighed in on – seeking changes that support the growth of their businesses. While one or more of these may be a big deal to you, others may be less relevant to your Google practices.
The most important point to take away is that better understanding Google advancements is key to making the most of them in relation to your own business profile, which – in turn – plays a critical role in your bottom line. Working closely with a savvy digital marketing pro can make all the difference.
Navigating Google’s Twists and Turns
Google doesn’t like to sit on its thumbs, and as of late, it’s poured a considerable amount of attention into Google Business Profiles. A lot rides on your GBP, and while you want to get it right, Google hasn’t always made it easy. In their defense, they’ve made – and are in the process of making – some significant changes that are designed to help make your business profile more manageable for you and more responsive for your customers and potential customers alike. Making the most of your GBP is a critical component of your online presence, which drives your business. If you’re ready to strategize your next best steps forward, the digital marketing experts at The Web Guys have the insight, business savvy, and tech knowhow to guide you. We serve areas across Indiana, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida including Carmel, Sarasota, Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Grand Rapids. To learn more about what we can do to help you grow your business via digital-marketing magic, please contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.