If you haven’t logged into your Google+ Local, Google+ Brand, or Places Dashboard in the past few days, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. On June 11, Google released their most aggressive foray into small business local listings. Instead of using a phased roll-out strategy, Big G dropped a bombshell and released this massive update worldwide over just a few days.
Google “My Business” replaces the confounding Google+ Business pages and the aging Places dashboard with a single integrated control panel to manage all aspects of your business listing.
When you attempt to manage your business page, you will see an overlay prompting you to take a tour of the new interface or get started with the upgrade. The one-click upgrade gives you a much simpler control panel that lets you:
Edit your listing
View page insights for your My Business listing
Manage your reviews
View website and YouTube analytics
You can easily jump between services by using the app switcher at the top of the interface. This is the same one used in Gmail, Google+ and other Google services.
This is a big deal for local SEOs and small business owners as the updated service seems to remedy some of the disconnects that existed between different versions of My Business predecessors and makes managing a listing simpler for less tech-savvy business owners.
There is an Android app available now and an iOS app slated for release shortly. This console is much more intuitive than previous iterations so if you haven’t claimed a listing for your business, now would be a great time. You can create a new My Business listing here.
For a complete list of changes and GMB resources, there is no better place than the Local Search Forum run by Google Top Contributor, Linda Buquet.