Google has finally released functionality to allow bulk Google My Business dashboard users (users with 10+ bulk verified locations) to upload identity photos via bulk spreadsheet and to set their preferred photo. Identity photos include the cover photo, profile photo, and the business logo. The preferred photo is the photo that business owners recommend that Google display first for the listing on Google Maps and Search (though there are no guarantees that the preferred photo will actually be the first photo shown).
Today Google has released new API functionality for managing listings in bulk verified accounts. Previously, the API allowed businesses to edit only individually verified listings and those edits would be eligible to to go live on Google Search and Maps.
Google has released a long-awaited and requested feature in the Google My Business Locations dashboard. The bulk dashboard interface now allows for an easier upload of updates to existing locations. Now, when uploading files to the dashboard, businesses are only required to upload those fields that have changes.
Google My Business has launched a new feature that allows bulk-verified users to quickly pre-set special hours for holidays and special events. When you enter special hours in Google My Business, Google will tell customers that they’re seeing holiday-specific opening hours. This should remove all of the guess work in having to push holiday hours updates to Google and hope that they go live within the appropriate time frame.
Position Technologies and Factual Partner for Business Listing Data
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24th, 2014
Geneva, IL – Position Technologies announced the addition of Factual Inc. to the network of sites for which they manage and distribute local business listings for Fortune 500 brands.
Jim Stob, founder and CEO of Position Technologies said, “The ecosystem for local business listing information is constantly evolving. The complex network of web sites, services and data relationships that make up this ecosystem are very challenging to navigate. Position Technologies’ products and services enable brands to proactively manage their business listing information across the entire ecosystem.”
Saint Charles, IL – October 28, 2013 – allLocal, a Position Technologies product, announced the addition of TomTom navigation systems to the allLocal network of sites for which they manage and distribute local listings data on the behalf of brands.
Through a strategic partnership with NavAds, the global distributor of TomTom Places Premium Listing services, allLocal is now able to add local listings to the TomTom maps for its North American customers.
With the launch of Bing’s new Places Dashboard, Bing claims that they are making “claiming bulk listings quick and hassle-free.” Business owners now have two options for bulk uploading their data on Bing: they can either upload a file in Bing’s feed format (which has not changed significantly from the previous Bing Business Portal version), or upload in Google’s feed format (which is admittedly less comprehensive).
Google has rolled out some improvements to the Places bulk upload tool. From Google’s Blog:
“We’ve made many improvements and now enable the following actions:
- Edit one or more of your listings’ data at once
- Search through your listings, filtering by specific information or for listings with errors
- Upload new listings using a data file or by adding them individually within the interface
- Tell us how we can improve this new interface by clicking the “Give Feedback” link”
Google is rolling out some changes to the OneBox display for local results that continue to the push the integration of local listing with the main search results. While this may just be another Google UI test, it is certainly consistent with their push to make local an integrated part of the main search experience. For brands and small businesses, this just reiterates the importance of having a local listing and reputation strategy. See a few examples below.
Photo from Places Now Included in the OneBox
Store With Optimized Places Listing vs Store Without
In the example below, you can see how the Sephora results compares to the Mac Cosmetics result. Competing brands in the same city but Sephora is taking advantage of the Google push to bring local content to the forefront by getting their storefront, hours and reputation front and center.
Implicit Local Queries Impacted
Even in cases where the user is not including a local modifier in their query, Google is pushing local content if they think they know your location and their is a local store. See the example below for Pottery Barn Kids.
These changes continue to demonstrate the importance of local content to Google and continue to demonstrate the opportunity both national brands and small businesses have to deliver a branded, rich and actionable experience directly on the Google.com first page.
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