Google recently announced a change to their local business management tool: the nifty Google My Business will now be rebranded as Google Business Profile, bringing with it new tools and features that are supposed to improve the functionality for local business owners, like law firms. Here’s what your law firm can expect:
Along with a name change, Google also added a bunch of features for Google Business Profile such as managing single listings directly from Google Maps and Google Search.
To do this, a business owner just needs to type the name of their business in Google Search and they will be presented with an interface that allows owners to edit their business profiles without having to leave the Search.
You should note, though, that this is not an entirely new feature for Google Business Profile. The stark difference from then and now is that all single listings are now going to be managed in this way, unlike the previous model of Google My Business where you could access profile management through the GMB app, encouraging business owners to maximize the upgraded features of its Search and Maps applications.
More Powerful Google Maps and Search Integration
Google also revealed that other tools and features will be added in the future that will enable business owners to better understand how they can improve their mileage in the local search.
In the meantime, the tools added in the Maps and Search apps are the following:
- Verification of business listings
- Messaging customers
- Managing reviews and FAQs
- Claiming business listings
- Tracking of inbound call data and history that originated from Google Business Profiles
You should note, though, that the last feature is only available to US and Canada business owners but will be soon rolled out to more countries in the future.
What It Means for Law Firms With Multiple Locations
While single listings will now be directly managed from the Search and Maps applications of Google, nothing has changed much for the GMB experience of businesses that operate in multiple locations. The only difference is that the name of the console will now be Business Profile Manager instead of Google My Business.
In a blog, Google has explained that the GMB experience will transition to support multi-location businesses. This is now seen with the revamp in the interface, with single listing businesses only having to manage their business profiles directly in the Search and Maps apps, unlike businesses with multiple locations.
Is It Good or Bad? Mixed Reactions From Businesses and SEO Experts
There is a mix of reactions from local business marketers and SEO experts about the name and feature change. Despite the claim that Google wanted to make things simple for businesses, some experts see the change as unnecessary, if not harmful. On the other hand, some experts suggest that the revamp brings minute changes and does not disrupt the existing GMB experience. Some even argue that the recent change to Google Business Profile actually makes it easier for businesses to manage their listings.
What do you think of these changes brought by Google to their local SEO platform? Do you find it disruptive? Incremental? Or is this change going to benefit your business listings further? Do you prefer using the old GMB console over the new GBP one? Let us know!