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  1. #1
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    Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Hey all,

    I hope everyone has been doing well! I just wanted to get everyone's feedback and/or insight on this topic. I was reading a great piece today:
    Memo to Google: Solve the Local Data Problem With Local Data | Street Fight

    Damian Rollison makes a great point regarding Google having a Premier SMB Partnership for Google+ Local (similar to their program with AdWords).

    I understand the logistics behind Google not implementing this (right now) as AdWords is their cash cow and local is a free product. However, I think it would be great for both Google and 'trusted third parties' if something like this was implemented.

    I'm sure this has come up in conversation many times but I just wanted to seek everyone else's opinion on the topic. Who knows, maybe we could pull together and make this happen?

    As always, the feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks again,
    Matt

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  3. #2
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Hey Matt, thanks for posting that link and asking a great question.

    I was reading it earlier and am planning to curate and quote part of it because Damian makes some really great points.

    You keyed into the most interesting one though. And while I'd love to see Google do something like a Premier SMB Partnership, I can't see it happening. The quality control would likely be too much of a nightmare.

    I mean one part of me can see the GREAT benefit when I think of consultants like you and all the VERY high integrity members here.

    However from working at the Google Business forum and seeing the seamy underbelly of this business far too often, I know that some of the biggest agencies that have thousands and thousands of local SMB clients, are also the slimiest and would likely verify fake locations and bogus businesses left and right.

    So I can see tons of pros and cons. But the management of it, the vetting of consultants/agencies and the QC would all take resources. So since it's a free product it may be tricky. HOWEVER if they are smart they know that the more SMBs that get verified and get with the program, the more SMBs will eventually start using paid ads. So I would think it would pay for itself. Plus they are already heavily investing in getting new SMB adoption through the "Get Your Business Online" outreach they do and that can't be cheap!

    I just personally can't see them allowing 3rd party verification and believe it will always need to be via someone actually at the business location.

    I'm really glad you brought this up and it will make a REALLY good discussion. And of course Google reads this forum, so you never know...

    I'm going to Tweet this now and see if I can get some other consultants to weigh in.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

  4. #3
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Hey Linda,

    Thanks for the great insight regarding this! I don't see as much of the 'other side' to this topic as you do so I truly appreciate your feedback. You're right, it does seem like a steep hill to climb but who knows, it could definitely be attainable with some TLC.

    Also, thanks for tweeting this - it'll be interesting to see what others have to say!

    Thanks again,
    Matt

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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Thanks Matt!

    Hey all, I just did a separate post highlighting the full article and speaking more to the point of the data problems in general. In that post I linked back to this one for discussion on the SMB Partnership angle.

    Big Google Local Data Problems - Possible Solutions
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

  6. #5
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Unless the SMB Partner could be held legally responsible for misrepresentation I don't see how it can fly.

    I think they should throw maximum resources at getting GP resolved into G+, and 100% integration into Maps.
    Then provide a really simple dashboard for businesses to set themselves up on.

    I don't see why the verification process should change from postcard, after all the concept of "local" is a geographic one, therefore the verification process should also be.

  7. #6
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    I'd love to read this, but the link to the article just will not load the piece. All I'm getting is a banner ad. Wonder if the site is having a server problem.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

  8. #7
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    I believe the GOOG could/should consider a certification process like that of their Analytics and AdWords IQ. There should be a select group to beta test this concept. Look at Tag Manager and how Google Certified Partners of AdWords were testing before the roll out. Food for thought.

  9. #8
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Quote Originally Posted by MiriamEllis View Post
    I'd love to read this, but the link to the article just will not load the piece. All I'm getting is a banner ad. Wonder if the site is having a server problem.
    Hmmm, I've gotten there fine several times and just checked again now and it's fine for me. If you subscribe to their feed you can read the whole thing in Reader.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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

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

  10. #9
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    I just read his piece and commented on it. I don't see a program like this ever taking off. There is no way Google is going to allow 3rd parties to start acting on behalf of business owners. There is just too much liability. Plus, there would be a lot more confusion in the marketplace than there already is. Imagine you have a bunch of 3rd parties running around claiming they are "trusted partners" of Google - some are legit and most aren't.

    Then what happens if Google doesn't deem me as a trusted partner? Now business owners won't want to work with me - even though I'm more than qualified to help them.

    I see such a system being a complete mess...just my two cents.

    Travis Van Slooten
    TVS Internet Marketing: Helping Small Businesses Increase Their Visibility & Sales Online.

  11. #10
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    Re: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

    Quote Originally Posted by m_j_gregory View Post
    Damian Rollison makes a great point regarding Google having a Premier SMB Partnership for Google+ Local (similar to their program with AdWords).

    I understand the logistics behind Google not implementing this (right now) as AdWords is their cash cow and local is a free product. However, I think it would be great for both Google and 'trusted third parties' if something like this was implemented.
    This only benefits third-parties to make money off of verifying businesses and is ripe for disaster when the feature that is verified by the third party doesn't meet the Map Maker or Places guidelines and gets deleted. Why does Google need a certification program when they have Map Maker? . Essentially they get feedback on the back side from Trusted Reviewers and other editors who review edits to features. Trusted third parties for verification in Local only complicates and dilutes the process by farming out a simple task that is ripe for social engineering and more headaches for Google. I don't see the upside for them, I do for the third-parties.

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