We have some big news with some new offerings coming out in the coming days, but with all of the changes and updates with Google My Business (GMB) in recent days, I thought it was important to do a quick overview to highlight some of the things that are going on. Some of these are new offerings, while others are new research that may help you, but all are worth considering.  Below is a quick overview of each with a link to a more in-depth article on the subject.  If your search terms trigger local results, all of this information is important to your success.

What Page Should You Link Your GMB To?

For years we often discussed whether it was better to link to the homepage or to a “location” page with your GMB website link.  It was generally accepted that you would want to link to the stronger URL, but that you should also be sure to have the NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) of the business on that page to assure the algorithm it was representing the same company. As Google gets smarter with their algorithm, perhaps things have changed a bit, and the content of the page is more important. With the general commoditizing of NAP’s and more regular practice of including that NAP on all of the pages, other factors are coming into play, and you may want to be sure to link to a page that mentions your most important products or services. Learn more from Joy Hawkins’ study here.

GMB CurbsideDoes Your Business Name Matter Too Much to the Algorithm? YES

Danny Sullivan at Google recently stated that he expects improvement on the problem of business name being too important in the near future.  Though they have promised this in the past, it looks like they are taking it more serious now.  Many of you have been frustrated by fake business names jumping over you in the rankings because they clearly took advantage of the weight given to the business name while Google tells us we have to use the true name of the business. The cheaters were not being punished properly and the system was being abused.  Hopefully some of these problems will go away in the near future. For more on this, please check out the Search Engine Roundtable article.

Help with Duplicate Listings

Duplicate listings can be troublesome because they can interfere with your rankings and cause confusion for you and your users. Google has begun notifying business owners if they have duplicate listings that can cause issues.  Google can get confused by which of duplicate listings is the true priority listing, and users can accidentally leave reviews on the wrong listings. This should help get a lot of these cleaned up going forward. More on duplicate announcements here.

Google Guaranteed Badge for $50/Month

Google also announced that they will offer, for $50 per month, a Google Guaranteed badge on your listing.  They do make sure you reach certain guidelines and qualifications, but it would make sense that you may see better exposure and click through rates from this badge.  It will be interesting to see studies on whether this is worthwhile to different industries.  It is believed more bells and whistles may be added in this pay to play format. There should be a lot more info as the data comes through on this, but you may want to jump in on this and start measuring differences in results right away. Learn more of the details at Search Engine Land.

If all of this seems like too much to try to stay on top of, and you want us to take care of it for you, just give us a call and get started on an SEO or local search plan.  We have been doing it a long time and aren’t going away. You can count on us while you focus on what you do best.