Views Spike in August – Google My Business

Update 10/12/17:

After reaching out to Google for an update on the public post that was to contain additional detail on the reporting change, Google has informed us that they have decided against publishing a post on the topic. Instead, Google has provided the following message, which explains the spike more thoroughly:

We recently started tracking a new impression type in desktop Maps. Local Insights now show whenever a listing has been viewed — even if it’s on a list of businesses that the user sees and the user doesn’t directly click on the business listing.

So essentially, Google is now counting when a desktop user clicks through to Maps to see a different listing, and the business listing in question also displays in the Maps list.


Google My Business Insights began reporting a significant uptick in Views starting roughly August 1st. This spike affected this single metric alone; Photo Views and Click Actions (clicks to directions, clicks to website, clicks to call) remain steady. At first glance, the increase appeared to be a bug in Google’s reporting, given that Click Actions would be expected to increase with a legitimate increase in Views.

We reached out to Google to flag the reporting anomaly to them, and to request an explanation and received the following:

We recently started tracking a new impression type in desktop Maps. In the future we’ll try to communicate these changes better ahead of time.

Among allLocal clients, the largest jump was a 130% increase MoM from July to August, across approximately 2,300 locations. Most clients have seen at least a 50% increase MoM. The image below was taken from the allLocal reporting dashboard for an example client, which displays what a remarkable and suspicious increase it was.

130% Increase from July to August 2017 - GMB

GMB Insights – Monthly Views

The explanation provided by Google above does not yet confirm what kind of desktop Maps view is calculated in the total count, though we can speculate that the Views might be related to either map pin or list views.

Google has provided assurances that this change is permanent and that Views will be sustained at this level, so we can continue to track these reporting metrics accurately in future.

Additionally, it may be worth mentioning that the recent Google local algorithm update, named “Hawk” appears to be unrelated, though the timing of both updates going live in relatively short order make it more difficult to distinguish between a true uptick in performance due to Hawk and an increase due to this new desktop Maps View.

Google is currently working on a public post in response to the confusion, and we will update this post with Google’s public response once available – stay tuned.

Milestone: Over 14.8 Billion Google Views Logged in allLocal

In preparation for the launch of the new allLocal reporting platform, which is now a public-facing beta, we have been digging into the performance data flowing into the allLocal dashboard from GMB and other engines, including Views and Click Actions.

As a result, we’ve calculated that allLocal has logged over 14.8 billion (yes, billion with a “B”) total customer views for our clients, and counting, since we began pulling Insight metrics from Google.

During this time, we have logged hundreds of millions of customer actions, including clicks to website, clicks to directions, and clicks to call.

In terms of percentages, we have calculated a total customer action rate of 4.21% based on the three customer actions Google reports in GMB Insights. And if we tentatively consider a photo view as an auxiliary action, since a photo view requires interaction with the listing, this number is bumped up significantly. We’ve found that photos, more than calls, websites, or even directions, see the most interaction on GMB profiles.

Customer Actions Breakdown

Website clicks: 1.23% Direction clicks: 2.25% Calls: 0.74%

If you would like to start viewing this data and more in the allLocal dashboard, please reach out to sales@alllocal.com to get started. Once the data has been imported, you’ll have access to roll-up reports for Google views (organic or Google Maps), Google customer actions (website visits, driving direction clicks, clicks to call), Bing views, Facebook and Foursquare metrics, listing accuracy history, review monitoring, rankings and more.

Let us be your local search secret weapon. Whether you are a search agency or a multi-location brand, we can help. We’ve boosted impressions and traffic for 100% of our clients across our 20 year history (over eight years in local SEO).

Contact us today to find out how we can help you, and to schedule a demo of the new allLocal platform — 760.542-7447 or sales@alllocal.com.

Google Adds Bulk Insights Download and New Metrics to GMB Dashboard

Google is on a roll with a recent updates to the GMB dashboard. This latest update allows business owners to download location Insights in bulk from the GMB dashboard.

The metrics download includes the following fields:

  • Store code
  • Store name
  • Address
  • Total searches
  • Direct searches
  • Discovery searches
  • Total views
  • Search views
  • Maps views
  • Total actions
  • Website actions
  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions

Business owners can choose between 7, 30, or 90 days of historical data, or indicate a custom time-frame for the download of up to approximately 18 months’ worth of historical data, identical to the amount of historical data available via the GMB API. This update appears to be rolling out across all accounts in stages, though Google has yet to announce the change on their New Google My Business features page.

Google has also added new metrics to the GMB dashboard for Popular Times (previously only visible in the Knowledge Panel) and Return Customers, though this update has yet to make its way to bulk dashboards.

Google Adds Attributes Reference Sheet to GMB Dash

Google has added a handy reference sheet for all available attributes, not previously available in simple list form in the dashboard before.

The link to download the attribute spreadsheet is available from the Import Locations screen, seen in the screen capture below:

The reference sheet is simply a comprehensive list of all available attributes and does not indicate which attributes are accessible per category selection. Until Google makes it clear which attributes are associated to each category, the attribute selection process might be a bit of trial and error. Despite this shortcoming, it is a great start and a step in the right direction to helping business owners choose the right categories to define their businesses, and select attributes to tell users more about the location.

Profile & Cover Photos, Logos, Preferred Photo Now in Bulk GMB Dashboards

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).

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Announcing Google My Business Locations Bulk API (v2)

Announcing Google My Business Locations Bulk API (v2)

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.

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GMBL Improvement – Upload Only Updated Fields

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.

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GMB New Feature: Set Holiday Hours!

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.

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Position Tech Featured in Catalyst’s Digital Tech Innovation Series

allLocal’s was featured in Catalyst’s Digital Tech Innovation Series. Read the full post here.

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Position Technologies and Factual Partner for Business Listing Data

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.”

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