“I had a pet peeve… He ran away” – Stephen Wright
Google has changed again… and again… and again! If you set up a Google Local account, you need to revisit it and review your profile. I suggest you Google yourself or your business, and I hope you do it today!
When perusing some of my favorite and prominent people today, their Google+ pages have changed back to default mode. Maybe they are the new ones created by the changes, but you may have one more that you have to deal with so look into it!
If you don't like or adapt to change then you may want to call the 1990's with your brick phone. We have been given is a whole bunch of new tools for free (called Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Gone is the day of pay to play. What's new is play in exchange for your data. Your data is the asset that you give them in exchange for free access. That data is gold to them and they sell it for massive profits. Google is worth billions!
Google has changed Google Places to Google Business and integrated Google Places, Google Maps, and Google+ pages for business into once centralized system. You can choose to opt-out, but your competition is choosing to opt-in. Some think it's an upgrade because it's simpler, but the change in interface is not as clear cut between the various (now integrated) Google properties!
What really matters is your audience. Can they find the pertinent information about you and your business and will they get to your website or business (for free)? Google has two main goals. To promote great (and accurate) information to it's users. Second, to entice you to out advertise your competition (how they make money). Google+, Analytics and other awesome tools are free on purpose… they all lead to AdWords (which is how they make their money).
- Pluses: The new Google.com/busines interface really centralizes and simplifies your data in a way that takes less time and makes it easier to manage multiple accounts (for one business). If you have multiple brands and businesses, it still takes more time. It makes managing your account simpler and keeps all your information synchronized. The old way made you log-into multiple place to manage all your information, often making it hard to keep everything equal and up to date.
- Minuses: Google owns you… your data, your searches, your profiles, and your information. They can pick and choose what is important and relevant to your (their) audience at will. Free means that they can change the rules with no input from you at any time. Does that mean you can ignore or dis them? Since they own 70-80% of all search traffic, do you want to? At this point you have to respect and take advantage of the best search tools at your fingertips (and more importantly – where your customers choose to find you, hopefully over your competition).
Change is awesome and scary at the same time. Chances are you are one of three camps; “I Love Change”, I Hate Change”, “What the HELL just Happened?”. If you care to pay for things, then you have a right to scream!
Choose to embrace or choose to fight back. Change happens! Make the most of change, or choose to fight back! Google has the power and we can paddle upstream or downstream! Either way we don't own the delivery tool so we have to decide what makes the most sense for our businesses!
Do you LOVE or HATE the new Google Business? Do you adapt to… or resist change when it comes to FREE services? Comment away?