Search engines are evolving and none more so than Google the market leader. Google came onto myradar in the nineteen nineties firstly as the powered by option for Yahoo and then seemingly overnight they became a household name and a term name firmly established in our vocabulary. I googled it is something that everyone says and of course does.
Taking a jump forward to the noughties and we saw the advent of the smart phone, primarily Apple but then Android and Google Play quickly followedup and again overtook the market leader and became the operating system for most other brands. In 2004 Google Local was launched as a rival to the paper-based directories of old such as the Yellow Pages and Thompson Local.Google has certainly been at the forefront of many advances in the way we use search and in 2007 launched Street View over in the States as part of the Google Maps system which was already a popular choice having launched in 2005.
Google Street view uses 360-degree technology to allow the end user to drop in and virtually visit a road, you may have looked at your own house or business through it. Anyhow fast forward again and we begin to see business information in the form of a knowledge graph or knowledge card pinned to the right-hand side of search results. This knowledge card could take the form of information about an object or item but it could also include a business’s basic information such as name, address and contact number as well as links in to the imagery and map listing making it much slicker and a lot less clicks than previously were needed.
In 2009 Google Places was launched which gave businesses the opportunity to manage their own listings. Google Places Pages quickly became very popular and the addition of Street View tours inside businesses in 2012 really gave it that wow factor so it stood out from its competitors, moving forward again to June 2014 and Google My Business in the standard we can see today was released.
Nowadays of course most businesses have a Google My Business Listing unless they are very new and more often than not businesses have access to their Google My Business Listing so they can update it with their own logo, images and edit things such as opening times and off Google links to their own website and social media.
Claiming a business listing on Google is fairly straightforward, Local Exposure does have access to some powerful tools including My Business Provider to assist with this and has become highly knowledgeable in being able to assist with many of the teething issues of this system and the workarounds to get you that all important access.
Google My Business brings together all the elements of a business so within the system now it has the facility for:
- Your Business Name
- The Type of Business You Are
- Where You Are
- A Messaging System
- Google Posts
- Your Business Identity
- Your Business Logo
- Images Outside and Inside Your Business
- A Virtual Tour
- A Quick Link To Call You
- A Quick Link To Your Website
- A Link in Maps To Direct Someone To Your Business
The advancement of Google My Business has now added an extra dimension to a business’s online persona, so the end user is now more and more finding the relevant information more quickly and is therefore not linking off the site. The is called zero-click searching and is now 50% of the market in search. It’s called zero-click as the person does not leave the search engine to go to a website. There is also on the flip side another 50% of people that do so having both bases covered well in terms of a good website with rich detail for those who want that extra information over what Google provides.
The importance of Google My Business is immense and having the right information on hand for people is so critical to any type of business. It’s a cross platform solution so works on phones, tablets as well as computers. Make sure your business gives a great first impression by ensuring your Google My Business Listing is kept up to date and relevant.