June 8, 2017
In the digital world things are constantly changing, and for those of you who use Google My Business or Google Plus you’ve probably noticed their recent updates. To help you understand how to best approached these two sites and maximize your profile potential we’ve laid out a few of the new features in the following.
First, lets clarify the differences between the two. Google Plus and Google My Business are two separate entities that serve two purposes for a business. For each business listing on Google My Business, there is a corresponding Google Plus page.
Google Plus is a social network of Google and is used to upload posts and photos to your company, or personal page. Your Google Plus page can appear when searching on the Plus network, and also organically in a Google search. To improve your local ranking on an organic Google search you can provide, and update, all your business information in Google My Business; it’s best practice to also verify your business’s page to help Google recognize and pull the correct business in a search.
Google My Business is used to update the information that will appear on Google Plus, Google Maps and on the right-hand side, or the knowledge panel of a Google search result. To ensure all the information is correct, update your phone number, address, business hours and other relevant information in your Google My Business account. A new update allows businesses to add URL links to more information such as menus, services and products.
As Google tries to make the user experience more successful, they’ve changed a few features. In a recent update, they’ve changed where individuals can leave reviews. Reviews can now only be made on Google Maps or by clicking the review option in the knowledge panel. Going forward, there will not be an option to leave a review or view reviews via the business’s Google Plus page.
This next update is still ongoing. During some Google searches, social icon links will appear in the knowledge panel allowing easily accessed links to a business’s associated social profiles. Google pulls these social icons in the knowledge panel organically. If Google is able to recognize a businesses Facebook or LinkedIn page from its business website, it will display the icons. At this time there isn’t an exact way to ensure that the social profile links will appear. However, you can increase the probability of them being displayed by putting the LinkedIn or Facebook markups, linked to the exact URL on your website.
Like all things digital, Google will continue to change. They will further pursue ways to update their sites with convenience of users in mind. Here at 44i, we stay on top of current trends and the frequent updates to make sure we can give continual help and guidance!