If you’ve already heard of Google Places and Google+ Local, then you’ll be happy to know that you’re already somewhat in the know about Google My Business. But, as with any change that Google makes, it is never just a name change. Let’s go through the difference between Google My Business, Google Places for Business, and Google+ Pages.

What is Google My Business?

According to Google, “If you previously used Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business information, your account has been automatically upgraded to Google My Business. Google My Business makes it easier than ever to update business information across Google Search, Maps and Google+.”

During a Yext webinar I attended recently, there’s a chance you may not have been upgraded yet. Rumor has it that they are transitioning the more simple businesses first, then moving on to the more complicated ones. So, if you haven’t been upgraded, your best bet is to be patient and wait. Also thanks to Yext, the Google My Business Locations Demystified whitepaper it published recently provides a visual to help you determine if you’ve been successfully migrated (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 below).

Google My Business for Local Businesses

Very simply, if you’re a local business you need to get on board with Google My Business.

If you need a reason why, here’s a few…

  1. It’s free!
  2. It gives your business a public identity and presence on Google (even if you don’t have a website up and running yet)!
  3. Your business can appear on Google Search, Maps and Google+!

If you’re already sold, here are some of the top changes…

  • Photos: add more photos
  • Reviews: see and respond to reviews
  • Categories: pick as many as you want, but nothing custom

Choosing the Best Google My Business Dashboard

Local Business Marketing Reminder: You must have a mailing address and meet Google’s quality guidelines, to add your local business to Google My Business. If you do not have an address and would like to promote a brand, product, organization, or any other entity, you should create a brand page.

You have two dashboards to choose from to manage local business information on Google. Your options are as follows:

  1. Google My Business: choose this dashboard if you want to manage individual locations/brand pages.
  2. Google My Business Locations: choose this dashboard if you want to manage multiple locations. (Please note: at least ten locations must live in this account for bulk verification eligibility.)

Notes from Google:

  • Updates made to locations will be visible on both dashboards
  • Business locations that have a Google+ page associated with them will only be shown in the Google My Business dashboard.
  • If you don’t see all of your locations at the Google My Business dashboard, check the Locations dashboard.

Google My Business vs. Google My Business Locations

It will not be uncommon for some users to switch between the two dashboards to access certain features, regardless of which dashboard they primarily use. Below is a great breakdown of the features of each dashboard straight from the source itself—Google

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