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Thread: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Update

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Exclamation Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Update

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    Well Google has FINALLY issued an official statement about all the Google+ changes that affect local.

    As you can imagine there are many complaints at the new Google My Business Community as well as the official Google+ Help community. Primarily about reviews being missing. But also business owners can't even find their contact info hidden behind the subtle "i" so many think everything is missing.

    This whole update has caused so much confusion and frustration with users that could have been avoided to some degree if Google had 1) Explained issues the statement below upfront. And 2) Emailed all page managers and owners to explain the changes. Anyway here is the full scoop.

    From Mamta B a Google Employee.
    (Elizabeth our Community Manager is off this week.)

    How will the new Google+ pages look like? - Google Advertiser Community

    Google+ is getting a major redesign across mobile web, Android, iOS, and Desktop. The new design focuses on interests (like cars, kittens…), with the Collections and Communities features now allowing users to share more broadly. It is also simpler - with improved search, navigation and page recommendations - and faster.

    New features with this redesign

    The recently launched Google+ is redesigned to make it simpler and faster to use Collections,Communities, and see your home stream. We’ve introduced a few new features and enhancements throughout, including the ability to create and edit communities on Android, multi-login on iOS, new notifications and the ability to share public posts on other networks.

    If you wish to go back to the old interface, Click on Back to classic G+
    “Back to classic G+” link in the left-hand navigation pane

    Local Pages

    What does this mean for Local Pages?

    We found that Profiles and Pages were easier to understand if presented in the same style, and we’ve simplified both in the same consistent way. The following features are no longer supported for Local pages - Reviews, categories, directions, stars, photo uploads, interior photos, maps, hours, opentable/apps integration.

    How can people to see my local information?

    People can still see information on local pages in classic Google+ on web.

    In addition, people can see some local details (such as email, address, and phone) that you’ve decided to share as well as their history of communications with you when they click on information symbol on left hand side of the Follow button in the new Google+ page.

    Where do I upload or manage my Photos?

    People wanted a home for their photos to be separate from a social network, and so we launched Google Photos as a standalone app, outside of Google+ for better uploading and managing experience.

    How to add manager or view analytics?

    We’ve streamlined both people and page profiles with the new Google+. You won’t see advanced page management features in the new Google+, including adding and removing managers and viewing analytics just yet. To use those features you’ll have to switch back to classic Google+ for now.

    Page Profiles look different in the new Google+, and other information may show up on your old +Page Profile. You can switch back to classic Google+ to see and edit your old +Page profile. +Page Profiles may also look different on different platforms

    Highlights

    Your Google+ profile includes posts you’ve made on Google+, Collections you’ve created or followed and Communities you’ve joined. You can also add a cover photo, a profile photo, and a tagline, which are public.

    To see your Google+ profile, click Profile in the navigation menu.
    From your Google+ profile, people can also see more information about you by clicking on the information icon [i].

    You can also edit some of this information through About Me. When you change your name, tagline, profile photo, or cover photo in Google+, it is reflected in your About Me information.


    ------------------------------------

    So there you have it. Instead of being left in the dark at least now we know.

    And now we at least have something official to point users to, that details the changes.

    Still digesting. May have more to add after it all sinks in, but wanted to share really quick to make sure you guys know.


    RELATED PREVIOUS POSTS:

    New Google+ and Impact on Google Local

    Free Tools for Generating Google Review Links now that G+ Reviews are Gone
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  2. Members who thanked Linda Buquet for this post:

    Ajay Prasad (11-25-2015),ccbackus (12-01-2015),Christa Morgante (11-25-2015),Dialady (11-29-2015),jeffreyrufino (08-28-2016),Jim Froling (11-25-2015),JoyHawkins (11-25-2015),Scott Rawlins (11-25-2015),seoWest (11-25-2015)

  3. #2
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    In that thread I alerted Google to another problem. Sharing here in case you were not aware and your clients bring it up.

    "Additionally the emails that go out to alert owners to new reviews needs to be changed. It says "click to reply" to the review and that no longer works. So then they try to find their page and think all their reviews are missing. Even if they can figure out where their reviews are showing up, they have no idea how to reply to them. Obvious to us: right in the GMB dashboard, but not so obvious to them."
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  4. #3
    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    Just found a post from Barry and discussion is starting there too:

    Google Offers More Details On New Google+ Local Pages
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    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Myles Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    Thanks Linda - we appreciate the heads up.

    It's interesting that Mamta B (real name?) mentions the ability to click back to old style G+ page quite a few times. We're working under the assumption that the ability to do this is only temporary and this option won't be available for much longer. Are we wrong in this assumption?
    Founder of BrightLocal.com, the Local Search Tools & Citation Experts

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    Quote Originally Posted by Myles Anderson View Post
    Thanks Linda - we appreciate the heads up.

    It's interesting that Mamta B (real name?) mentions the ability to click back to old style G+ page quite a few times. We're working under the assumption that the ability to do this is only temporary and this option won't be available for much longer. Are we wrong in this assumption?
    Hi Myles,

    No this is just a preview. Like a BETA test. Many straight G+ features are borked or missing. They are looking for user feedback as they improve/finish the new product.

    I've mentioned a few times but I liken this to the new maps rollout. Remember at 1st it was just a preview you had to opt in to. It was slow and missing tons of features. Over a period of maybe a year (can't remember for sure but seemed a long time) they kept adding features and making things better. That whole time you could still revert back to Classic. UNTIL the final product was ready for official launch, then eventually classic went away.

    I see this likely following the same path as the maps update to some degree. But like I've said, I don't think it will be as detailed (with as many features added or take as long - because + is not as important to Google AND especially because the world, including general population does not rely on G+ the way it does Google maps.

    I keep G+ Classic on, because aside from Local there are too many regular G+ social features missing.

    ESPECIALLY for community management. Spam is a major problem on G+ Communities and now that I own a big Local Search Community with 104,000 members spam control is critical. All the features we need for spam control are totally missing, so until it's improved, you can't use new G+ for community management.

    So ya this whole thing is in many ways one of the most interesting and rocky updates so far I think.

    But again I'll stress for Local is not really a huge deal for those that understand all the changes leading up to this point. Consumers/customers really don't see the G+ Local page any more.

    So we need to get used to not even thinking of Local as a "page" or "listing".

    Your local data and reviews shows up everywhere Google wants to show it. Right in search, which is the most important, in the Local Finder, in the Knowledge Graph and on Google maps.
    Dialady and Ajay Prasad like this.
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    Hope Mike does not mind, but I'm sharing a comment that just came into his blog, because I'm afraid this is going to be a problem all you consultants should be ready for in case it comes up with your clients too.

    From Cathie Dunklee-Donnelly on Mike's Post

    My clients are so frustrated with their Google My Business pages. They can not find them a lot of time since there is no "Pages" on the left side menu any more with the new version. They are lost. I have to show them how to find their pages. Usually I help them switch back to Classic.

    Then on the map their bad reviews show at the top and their good reviews below that. Two really bad reviews are given top billing over twenty good ones, in one case.

    Three clients have asked me to find a way to disable their reviews or delete their entire My Business. They say since they are not in the 3 pak consistently (local results here are in constant flux sometimes there is a 3 pak, sometimes not, sometimes the client is number one in most of the city, sometimes not in 3 pak at all) and the reviews are problematic, they want me to get rid of the page and focus solely on organic. They think local optimization is a waste of limited resources.

    I totally understand but am trying to get them to keep their My Business pages for now.
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    And speaking of Mike, he just did an awesome and thorough as always FAQ post.

    Google Plus Upgrade FAQ for the SMB

    It's a must read for the deeper insights about what's happening, why and where this all might be heading and what you should be doing now.
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Linda Buquet's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    For anyone that missed yesterday's post, if you can't figure out how to get review links to give customers now that everything has changed...

    Free Tools for Generating Google Review Links now that G+ Reviews are Gone
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

    Consulting, Troubleshooting & White Label Services for SEOs & Agencies

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! SUBSCRIBE to Daily Email Digest Here

    Are you a PRO? Join the "Local Search Pros" G+ Community!

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    Thanks for putting all of this together, Linda.

    I have to admit that I've been MIA lately, trying to restructure (& just busy as hell). I didn't even KNOW about the new G+/GMB stuff going on until a client called in a tuff threatening to quit our services because she couldn't find a GMB listing for her new office (second location) she had 4 months ago. I didn't know about all this stuff going on, so I just copied and pasted the URL that I keep on hand in my notes, to show her where it was. I then decided to go on Google and search for it using the techniques that she would have used... could not find the damn thing for the life of me. I finally found it, but no customer ever would. F

    Frustrating for SEOs and clients! Not many clients I work with are active in their SEO efforts at all with replying to reviews, adding pictures, posting news, etc. Now with these changes it discourages those who are. Thanks for the resources. At least I can share the official Google news with them now.
    Hurricane K8
    Leavens Auto Group (London, Orillia, Chatham - Ontario,Canada)

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    Myles Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Finally: Official Google Statement on ALL the Google Local Changes after G+ Updat

    @Hurricane K8

    I share your frustrations and annoyance that clients blame you for something that isn't your fault & out of your control.

    However you shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Google local still offers local businesses a the best opportunity to be seen on page 1 and attract customers to them. All the content & reviews they generate still have enormous value to them in boosting their ranking & helping them to stand out from their competitors.

    All that has changed is that Google has altered a page that not many end-customers ever went to. I hazard a guess that 90+ of visits to Google+ Local pages were by business owners and SEOs to check & manage those pages.

    Actual search users (aka potential customers) get all the info they need from within search pages. And that info is taken direct from GoogleMyBusiness dashboard data.

    So while it's annoying for an SMB to get their heads around yet another change, the actual opportunity for them to reach customers & generate sales hasn't changed.

    Keep the faith. And to help here are some useful stats to convince customers of ongoing value of Google Local -

    - On Mobile+desktop combined there will be 146billion searches done this year*
    - This figure has almost doubled in 4 years from 75billion in 2011*
    - 43% of all Google searches have a Local Intent
    - And Google now shows local pack results for a wider set of search terms than ever before giving local businesses more opportunity to rank high in google

    *Source: BIA/Kelsey, May 2015

    And some more supporting evidence** -

    - 34% of SEOs/SMBs would choose Local Search above any other online marketing channel
    - Local Search delivers greatest ROI of all online marketing channels
    - Local Search delivers 26% of calls to local businesses/SMBs

    Source: BrightLocal 'Local Clicks & Calls Survey 2015' https://www.brightlocal.com/2015/09/...eting-channel/[/LIST]
    Founder of BrightLocal.com, the Local Search Tools & Citation Experts

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