Google My Business appears to be testing some changes that may be of particular interest to retailers and other companies that sell products rather than services.
The Google My Business tool helps businesses control what internet users see about them, whether searching via Google or locating the business on Google Maps, and it allows Google users to see information like business opening hours, physical addresses and websites. The search giant says that businesses using it for verification are twice as likely to viewed as reputable among consumers, especially since they are able to respond to reviews and ratings from the public.
Arguably a weakness of the tool is that it asks businesses to specify their ‘services’. This is no problem for a company like Engage Web, as we’re a service-oriented company offering web design, search engine optimisation, content marketing and so on. For a business like a newsagent or clothes shop, however, describing ‘services’ is a little clumsy. Such companies would probably prefer to highlight the products they offer.
Help may be at hand to these businesses, with Chicago-based SEO specialist Nathan Schoell tweeting a Google My Business change he had spotted yesterday:
Been playing with new GMB beta feature, Products (Beta) Looks to be replacement for Services menu located in Info tab. Set up collections with products in each collection. I am putting service items in as well. Any additional info here @mblumenthal ? pic.twitter.com/1UKyVXKfkb
— Nathan Schoell (@NateSchoell) October 18, 2018
Schoell noted that where he was previously asked to add services to the listing, he was now being asked for products for this particular business, but he also explained that there were some businesses where services were still being requested.
As is usually the case immediately after Google makes changes, the details are still hazy, but Search Engine Journal has suggested that Google My Business may be asking for either products or services depending on the category of business. In Schoell’s case, he was asked for ‘products’ for a car dealership business, and such a business probably would prefer to highlight what it physically sells rather than the services it offers.
A possible flaw is that it seems that Google is only offering one or the other at this stage, with Schoell saying that the option to add products had directly replaced the one to add services. In the case of a car dealership, this may be a blow in that it might wish to highlight the cars it sells, but also the services it offers, such as 24-hour test drives, MOTS, friendly service and so on. However, Search Engine Journal writer Matt Southern has commented that there is “nothing to stop” businesses providing Google My Business with a combination of the two.
To find out more about how you can allow your website to make the most of Google’s business-oriented services, why not get in touch with Engage Web?