Google today announced “Google My Business (Google.com/business),” an attempt to provide a single-point gateway to the array of products and services the search giant provides to help run and promote a small business.
While Google provides several of the best tools for helping small businesses get found on the web–and in the physical world–the company has repeatedly launched a confusing array of competing small business products with similar-sounding product names. From Google Local to Google Places to Google+ Places or Places for Google, the company has made it near impossible to know where or how to take advantage of the services they offer small businesses.
Today, all those various brands redirect to the Google My Business landing page.
(A part of the announcement even alludes to the previous confusion, “In addition to new businesses getting started with Google My Business, we’re also upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to this new experience.”)
On Google My Business
- Update your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
- Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
- Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
- Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews
- Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
- Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business Android app and the iOS app (launching soon)
While Google My Business is focused on the search and marketing products provided by Google, it leaves out several other services that are marketing to small businesses, including Blogger.com and Google Apps for Business.