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The latest offering from the folks at Google is specifically relevant to small and local business. Google My Business is a one-stop page for merchants to look after their presence on various Google products, from search, maps and Google+, Google Analytics, as well as Hangouts. This is Google’s attempt to steal some of Facebook’s thunder, by allowing its users to post and share news, events and images one time, and see them populate over the whole of their Google services.

Google says it’s working on transitioning all business accounts that have previously been on Google+ or Places for Business, and you should see this very soon. There is also an Android app now, and the iPhone app will follow shortly.

So how will this one work?

An image of the Google home page

Google is an instrumental point in the marketing plan of any business.

One clear advantage this platform will have is that all of your information is going to be centrally located, and can be populated to your Google properties with no effort on your part. In fact the first thing you notice when you log into Google My Business is your company’s information that has been taken from Google+, Places and Maps. You’ll be able to edit to update or change any information you find there.

Next up is the guts of the operation. On one simple screen you can access the following:

  • Google+ Shares
  • Google Insights
  • Customer Reviews
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Hangouts

You can get to those functions from this screen and add content, manage review and even start a Hangout. The mobile version of Google My Business is sleek and incredibly easy to navigate.

Is this the end of Google+?

For the most part it remains to be seen how this will all affect Google+. So far there doesn’t seem to be any net loss, and actually most will profit from having the automation and organization readily accessible. Google does say they are upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to Google My Business. We’ll see if what other changes are around the corner. And lest you think that Google My Business is just for local businesses, Google says that anyone with a Google+ page for their particular brand or business will soon get in on the action as well.

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