Google released a new feature on Monday that will make the process of managing a company’s presence on Google a little bit easier. And they used Google Plus to do it. The new feature, called Google Plus Dashboard which was introduced in April but given a wide rollot yesterday, unites a company’s core information listings (Web address, physical address, phone number, store hours, etc.) and distributes it out to places such as Google Maps, Google Search and Google Plus.
It’s been no secret that the connection between a company’s Google Plus business page and its Google Plus Local (formerly Google Places) content was bad. So bad, in fact, Google took the step earlier this year of setting up a phone support center to help companies with the verification process. But even with all the “improvements,” many companies were left wondering what exactly they should do with a Google Plus business page AND a Google Plus Local page. With Dashboards, Google is attempting to give businesses more tools and better direction to answer that question.
Benefits of the Google Plus Page Dashboard
The new Google Plus Page dashboard brings together some specific elements all designed to create a one-stop location for a business to manage its presence through Google. According to Google Engineer Pavni Diwanji, using the dashboard businesses can now:
- Update core business information (hours, location, etc.) to Google properties such as search, maps and Google Plus.
- Monitor notifications on their Google Plus page and manage their account
- See “at-a-glance” data about their AdWords Express account
- Create and manage special offers through Google Offers
- Conduct hangouts (video chat) with fans and customers
I’ve already gotten a look at the new dashboard and I must say that I’m impressed. Having tried to manage this information across two locations in the past for a few clients, it could get quite confusing and you always ran the risk for errors in your business listing if you didn’t make the changes to both locations.
Long Live Google Plus?
To me, however, the most interesting sign is Google’s continued move to include this information inside of Google Plus. Before long, we will likely reach a tipping point where if your business is not a part of Google Plus, it may be impossible to be found organically inside of Google. Of course, I’m certain that many will want to debate whether or not that is a good trend for the long term, but the reality is that Google believes in Google Plus and wants businesses to be there, which means that you need to get busy polishing up that Google Plus page for your business and using the vast array of tools offered by the search giant.
What about you? Have you taken a look at the new dashboard for Pages in Google Plus? Will you use it or will you just set your business information and keep on moving?
About the Author
Jon Parks is a digital marketing strategist and owner of Dijital Farm, a digital marketing consulting agency based in Raleigh, N.C. As a consultant, speaker and instructor, Jon helps businesses make sense of social media, the basics of Google, e-mail marketing and more. You can follow Jon Parks on Twitter (@jonparks), add him to your circles on Google Plus and connect with him on LinkedIn.