6 unannounced updates to Google My Business we’ve seen in 2017
Google has been quietly rolling out new features and updates to Google My Business over the last several months.
1. Google removes permanently closed listings from the Local Finder
If you look at the picture from my article last year about permanently closed listings, you’ll see that there used to be tons of “permanently closed” listings ranking in the LocalFinder. They would typically show up at the end of the list (after the open ones), and if you edited a ranking listing to make it appear permanently closed, it would instantly drop to the back of the list.
I haven’t seen a single “permanently closed” listing in the Local Finder in months. This is mostly a good thing, since they aren’t overly useful for users.
The “permanently closed” label is problematic for local SEOs in a couple of scenarios. The first would be for businesses that have practitioners. These are the industries that are most likely to have “permanently closed” listings floating out there that they don’t know about for their practitioners. They are now harder to find, but customers could still be seeing them while searching on Google.
Tip: Search for all your existing and former practitioners on Google by name + city and make sure you don’t have any of these out there.
The second problematic scenario would be when spammers start marking competitors as “permanently closed” to make them disappear. You won’t get any type of notification from Google when this happens to your business (Thanks, Google!) unless you visit your Google My Business dashboard daily.
Tip: Since not everyone has time to do that, my suggestion would be to utilize a ranking tracker that also sends you alerts when they notice changes on your listing, like BrightLocal does.
2. Google removes the ability to access the classic version of Google Plus
Google came out with the new version of Google Plus back in 2015, but up until a couple of months ago, they still kept the classic version accessible — and it was the version that Google cached in their search results.
Why does this matter for local SEOs? The classic version had all the Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) data on it that we loved so much, and the new version gives you none of this info. Many of us used the site:plus.google.com search to find duplicate listings for clients, and this function no longer works, since the cached version of Google Plus has no phone number, no address and no reviews.
Tip: Unless you’re using Google Plus for posts that get lots of engagement, you don’t have much else to do over there, since it’s now almost completely divorced from Google My Business. Posting random links to your blog articles won’t help you unless they get shares, +1s or comments.
3. Google launches a platform for reviewing edits to business listings on Google Maps on Desktop
Since MapMaker shut down, lots of people are under the impression that reviewing edits to business listings is no longer possible. Google has had the ability to review edits on the Google Maps app for quite some time, but since those of us in the local SEO industry rarely sit around doing client work on our phones, lots of people don’t realize this is possible. In March, Google also launched a “Check the Facts” feature on Desktop for Local Guides. This is a very simplified version of editing and isn’t really comparable to what we used to have on MapMaker, but it does allow for users to approve or deny each other’s edits to business listings. When this first launched, it was only available to Local Guides who were a Level 5 but rolled out to all Local Guides levels a few weeks later.
4. Google removes pending edits for a listing’s status from showing up on the Google Maps app
I outlined in this article how spammers were attacking legit business listings by reporting their listings as spam just to get the pending status to show up on their listing on mobile. Indeed, these spammers shifted their focus to Trump Tower at one point, and searching for it on the Google Maps app produced the following listing:
Google removed pending edits for a listing’s status shortly after I wrote that article, so now if someone reports you as spam, you don’t have to worry unless the edit actually publishes.
5. Google rolls out the Snack Pack to more industries in the USA
Different from the 3-pack, the “Snack Pack” refers to the local layout that that is missing the links to the business website or driving directions; instead of seeing these (useful) buttons, you get an image.
For some reason, Google decided earlier this year that all of us who search on Google would love to see pictures of bugs when searching for pest control instead of a website that would tell us more about the company we’re potentially hiring.
Mike Blumenthal pointed out that in addition to pest control, jewelers and sporting goods stores also now have this layout.
6. Businesses can now access 18 months of data from Insights inside their Google My Business dashboard
In April, Google added bulk insights to the dashboard, which might look unimpressive at first if you don’t catch the fact that you can now select a custom date range for data and aren’t stuck looking at one-week, one-month, or one-quarter intervals! This is a huge plus for agencies who onboard new clients and want the ability to see how their stats look before they start improving things.
Apple Pledges $350 billion Investment in US economy Over Next Five Years
Apple is about to give the U.S. economy a huge boost in the form of a $350 billion five-year investment. As part of that, it will commit $55 billion this year alone and plans on adding 20,000 new jobs over that time frame. Following in the footsteps of Amazon, it also plans to add a new campus somewhere in the U.S. this year.
There is a lot of news here. Let’s start with the big-picture investment of $350 billion, which Apple says does not include ongoing tax payments, the tax revenues generated from employees’ wages or the sale of Apple products.
It will, however, involve taxes on repatriation of some of Apple’s cash reserves, which are currently in the $256 billion range. It anticipates $38 billion coming from repatriation taxes, but much of it will be capital expenditures on the part of the company.
For starters, there will be $30 billion, which will help fund a number of projects, including building the aforementioned new campus. The plan is for this to initially house technical support for customers. Apple says it will announce the location of this new facility later this year, with a plan to make the building run on 100 percent renewable energy sources.
But wait, it’s not done yet. It will also invest $10 billion of that money in new data centers in the U.S., adding to the seven already in operation or planned. There is a new one coming in Iowa and they broke ground on one in Reno just today, in addition to data centers already in operation in North Carolina, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. (This number includes co-location facilities not owned and operated by Apple.)
Apple announced that it planned several investments that will contribute more than $350 billion to the United States economy over the next five years. (Photo/NationalTurk).
The company also plans to expand the advanced manufacturing fund it started last spring, from $1 billion to $5 billion. The idea is to bring advanced manufacturing jobs to the heartland and it is already funding projects in Kentucky and rural Texas.
Finally, Apple plans to expand its coding initiatives, helping students and teachers from K-12 and at community colleges across the country learn valuable coding skills.
While there is clearly a large public relations element to this announcement, the amount of money and investment involved from a private company here is just staggering and should help create new jobs, stimulate local economies and help educate students for the next generation of jobs. Hard not to like that.
Amazon Reveals ‘20 Cities’ That Could Be The Home Of Its Next Headquarters
Amazon has revealed 20 cities that could be the next home of its second North American headquarters, dubbed HQ2.
The candidates, selected out of 238 applicants, will move to the next round of Amazon’s selection process, the company said Thursday. Amazon will make a final decision on the site of its next headquarters this year.
The list of candidates includes Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio.
Amazon said it will work with each city to “dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community.”
Amazon has promised a $5 billion investment and up to 50,000 high-paying jobs to the city that wins its selection process.
“Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, head of public policy for Amazon. “Through this process, we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.”
Here are all the potential candidates:
- Atlanta, GA
- Austin, TX
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO
- Indianapolis, IN
- Los Angeles, CA
- Miami, FL
- Montgomery County, MD
- Nashville, TN
- Newark, NJ
- New York City, NY
- Northern Virginia, VA
- Philadelphia, PA
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Raleigh, NC
- Toronto, ON
- Washington DC
Source: Business Insider
Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch
Former Heavyweight Champion: Mike Tyson’s 40-arce Marijuana Ranch
Former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson, and his two business partners plan to open a 40-acre marijuana ranch 60 miles southwest of Death Valley National Park. According to mirror.com Tyson Ranch will allow growers to cultivate their crop and there will also be a cultivation school to help growers get the most out of their strains.
The operating company, Tyson Holistic, will employ mainly veterans and bring much needed jobs to the city it’s in.
#MustWeed Mike Tyson Preparing to Revolutionize Marijuana Industry, Breaks G… http://Fortune420.com/News #Cannabis #Stocks & #Crypto
Tyson is a long time believer in the medicinal benefits of marijuana use and with California legalizing recreational use of the plant, his plans to open the ranch are free to move full steam ahead.v
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