Moving Your Business: Google Plus Local Changes Its Mind
In February, I shared some advice from Google regarding how to handle a business relocation in Google+ Local. They’ve recently enacted more new changes that you should be aware of.
The Google Business Help forum has a new posting that outlines the following steps if you are a verified business that is moving:
• If your business is changing addresses, you should edit your address in your Google Places for Business dashboard or in the Google+ page admin area.
• In some cases, changing your address will simply edit the address on the existing page. In other cases, it will create a new page for the new address. This will happen automatically and is totally normal, don’t worry! It might take a week or two after editing your address for a change to show up.
• Please note that you may need to verify the new page.
• If a new page is created for your business, you may want to mark the old page (with the old location) as closed. Do so by visiting the page, clicking on Report a Problem, and selecting “Place is permanently closed.” Then, in the box that appears, paste the URL for the new page (with the new location), so we can establish a link between the two pages.
Prepare yourself for an involved process. This will take time and monitoring on your part to complete.
Google Satisfaction Rating Down
The customer satisfaction numbers released by ForeSee Results indicate the lowest levels of consumer satisfaction with search engines in a decade, and the satisfaction scores for social sites are also declining.
The survey ranked consumer satisfaction on a 100 point scale. Google received a 77 (down from an 82 last year), the worst ranking in over a decade. Bing and Yahoo both received scores of 76 and AOL was scored at 71, all of which were declines from their 2012 scores. Google’s status as the preferred search engine also went down from 2013.
All search engines seem to be declining in consumer satisfaction. Therefore, a fundamental change in market share for the search engine competitors is unlikely.
Facebook Business Pages Growing
According to Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg. the world’s largest social platform has nearly 18 million business pages as of the end of the second quarter of 2013. To illustrate the growth of this segment: in March there were 15 million business pages, and in July 2012, there were 11 million.
Social Media continues to be a growing medium to reach existing and new customers, as well as to promote website traffic and relevance in the eyes of the search engines.
Bottom Line: Search Engines and Social Sites continue to struggle with the balance between advertising and user experience. It is probably in their best interests to push the balance a little to the advertising side, as the most recent earnings reports would indicate. Does this leave the door open for new rivals who are willing to deliver an ad-free social platform or search engine? Maybe, but I feel that privacy is perhaps an even larger issue than the advertising concerns of site users. Google+ Local continues to be a difficult platform to work with, but once a business is established, the returns are excellent and it is an extremely mobile-friendly way to be found on search for most small to medium sized local businesses.
Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based Website Development, SEO and Online Marketing Firm.