Recently we discovered the latest and greatest offering from the folks at Mountain View, otherwise known as Google. They’ve come up with what they hope is a direct answer to Facebook with Google My Business. Google My Business is imagined as a one-stop page for online merchants and brands to manage their various Google account and properties, such as search, maps, Google Analytics, Adwords, Hangouts and Google+. You can do many things under this one umbrella, including posting to Google pages, share events and images, connect with those in your circles and more. The key here is that you post once, and all relevant Google-connected services get updated.

Google says it’s working on transitioning all business accounts that have previously been on Google+ or Places for Business, and you should see this soon. There is also an Android app now, and the iPhone app is to follow soon.

So how will this one work?
One clear advantage this platform will have is that all of your information will be centrally located, and can be populated to your Google properties with no more effort from you. In fact, the first thing you see when you log in to Google My Business is your company’s information that has been taken from Google+, Places, and Maps. You’ll be able to edit to update or change any information you find there.

Next up is the heart of the operation. On one simple screen you have access to the following:

  • Google+ Share
  • Google Insights
  • Customer Reviews
  • Google Analytics
  • Hangouts

You can get to those functions from this screen and add content, manage review and even start a Hangout. The mobile version of Google My Business is sleek and incredibly easy to navigate.

What does this mean for Google+?
For the now it remains to be seen how this is going to all affect Google+. So far there doesn’t seem to be any net loss, and actually many will profit from having the automation and organization readily available. Google does say they are upgrading current users of Places for Business and the Google+ Dashboard to Google My Business. We’ll see if any more changes are around the corner. And lest you think that Google My Business is only for local businesses, Google says that anyone with a Google+ page for their particular brand or business will get in on the action as well.

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