From RepPilot.com/info: Latest Google My Business Updates 2016

Google My Business is one of the free tools Google provides to businesses to manage their online presence in search and map results. Smart business owners have already verified and optimized their Google My Business listing. As one of those smart business owners you should periodically check on the latest Google My Business updates.  Google is continuously updating the Google My Business platform with enhancements that let you do more with your account and provide more information to your customers.

Learn what’s obsolete, what’s new, and how you can do more with the latest Google My Business updates.

Add Multiple Owners to Listings

This is probably the most useful of all the Google My Business updates from the last few months.  You can now add multiple owners to individual locations and Google My Business accounts. As the owner of a listing, you can invite additional users to own or manage a listing.  This lets you share listing management task without having to share personal account information.  Only owners can add or remove users, but assigned managers can remove themselves from the listing.

There are three types of users an owner can assign, with different levels of access to the Google My Account listing – owner, manager, and communication manager.

google-my-business-updates-access-capabilities

Source: Google Support

Use Map View to Look at Multiple Locations

Viewing all of your locations in list view is the best way to make edits to your listings.  You can also view your listings in map view which shows your locations plotted on a map.  This is useful to take a look at your locations at a glance.

To access the map view click the map icon at the top of your list view.  This switches to map view with your locations show.  Locations are color-coded based on their status.  Blue locations are published listings, and pink listings are either inactive or require some action on your part.  Map view is a good way to quickly check the status of your listings.

google-my-business-updates-map1

Manage Google Updates Automatically Made to Your Locations

As of August you can accept or discard Google updates for individual fields in bulk. Google uses information from various third-party sources to ensure location information stays at accurate as possible.  That means the information you provide can sometimes be reported as incorrect.  When Google updates your listings, you will see them listed with a “Google updates” status.  Google can update your listings at any time, and those updates appear live on Maps and search results.  Check often and review listings with “Google updates” status to ensure the information seen online is accurate.

If you have Google updates to review, you will see a Google updates box at the top of your page. Select an option from the dropdown and pick the boxes next to the locations you’d like to review. From here you edit updates individually, accept updates or discard updates.  You may not be able to accept or discard Google updates in bulk if the listing isn’t enabled for download or you don’t have enough access to the listing and can request more access.

If you’re updating locations using your bulk upload spreadsheet, you can import your locations without resolving Google updates. You can import a spreadsheet, and if you haven’t changed a particular field since your last upload, Google My Business will ignore that field. Your data won’t change, and Google updates for that field won’t be accepted or discarded. If you import a spreadsheet and you have changed a field, the new field value will be accepted and will overwrite both your old value and any Google update associated with it.

New Hours Format for Bulk Upload Spreadsheets

You can use bulk upload spreadsheets to verify multiple business locations at once.  As of August, there is a new format for the “hours” column.  If you bulk upload with spreadsheets, you will need to make this format change since the old format is no longer supported.  For open hours of the business enter hours for each day of the week in their respective column. You can enter hours in AM-PM (HH:MMAM-HH:MMPM) or 24-hour (HH:MM-HH:MM) format: 09:00AM-05:00PM or 09:00-17:00.

google-my-business-updates-hours-format

You can get a current template by clicking the plus sign at the bottom right of your account screen, clicking to “Import Locations,” and the clicking to “Download the Template.”

 Other obsolete fields no longer supported in the bulk upload tool include:

  • Ad Icon URL
  • Ad Landing Page URL
  • Alt Phone. Alt phone is now “Additional phones.”
  • Categories. This field has been replaced by “Primary category” and “Additional categories.”
  • City is now “Locality.”
  • Description
  • District is now “Sub-locality.”
  • Email
  • Fax
  • Hours. Each day of the week now has its own column for opening hours.
  • Main phone. The main phone is now “Primary phone.”
  • Mobile phone. If a mobile phone number is the best number for your business, add it as the “Primary phone.” Otherwise, add it to the new “Additional phones” field. Any numbers previously specified as mobile have automatically relisted in the “Additional phones” field.
  • Payment Types
  • State is now “Administrative area.”

Google My Business API Update

The API update won’t affect many small business owners as the Google My Business API is designed for developers who write applications to handle Google My Business data on a large scale for chains and complex Google My Business Accounts.  A business that has a third party manage their listings with the API should know that the new version has a few new notable features:

  • You can now subscribe to push notifications when you have new reviews.
  • Map URLs are included in location responses, allowing users to link to Google Maps.
  • You can now add URL attributes such as a restaurant’s menu.

Help Customers Find You with Google My Business

With Google My Business you can manage the information Google search users see when they search for businesses like yours, or the products and services that you offer. You can also respond to customer reviews and post photos of what you do.  Monitor your listings and keep your information up to date to ensure when people find your business on Google Maps and search they have access to information like your hours, website, and street address.

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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