Google My Business (GMB) has undergone some significant changes this year - one of which being it’s not called Google My Business anymore. Google announced at the end of 2021 that the SEO service for business owners will now be titled Google Business Profile (GBP), and there are several new aspects to this rebranding.
In case you were unfamiliar with GMB prior to these changes, let’s run through a quick crash course on it, so you can fully understand the differences between the old and new service and how they may affect your use of it.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business has evolved over the years, with former names such as Google Places, Google+ Local, and Google Local, but the idea behind it has remained relatively the same; GMB is a tool to manage and optimize your Business Profile to increase visibility and verify aspects of your listing.
Your profile can be seen both on Google Maps and in Google Search, and GMB is what allows business owners to manage customer reviews and the information displayed, such as hours of operation, address, photos, and contact information.
Additionally, Google My Business allows you to answer questions, enable direct messaging, add product, services, and pricing information, and link directly to your company’s website. Either via the online console or the app, you can also view analytics related to your Business Profile, such as audience insights and local search performance, and practice SEO to boost your listing using keywords.
Now that we’ve covered a brief overview of what Google My Business was, let’s go over what is and isn’t changing as the service transforms to Google Business Profile. One of the first major differences is you can now easily claim and verify your Business Profile directly on Google Search or the Google Maps app, instead of using the Google My Business app (which has been retired as of this year).
After verifying your business, you can manage all of the same information on your profile as mentioned above with Google My Business, but directly on Search and Maps. You can also message customers from Search, and merchants (in the U.S. and Canada) can now see which customer calls came directly from their Google Business Profile by viewing the call history from any time period.
One of the more widely discussed aspects of this change is that the previous Google My Business web experience, renamed “Business Profile Manager,” will transition to primarily supporting larger businesses with multiple locations; small to mid-sized businesses with only one location are being encouraged to manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. Right now, managing directly through one of these is a bit more tedious than doing so through the Google Business Profile manager, but that is subject to change and potentially become a more streamlined process as they push more businesses to use Search or Maps.
As of now, these are the only significant changes that have taken place since the announcement of the rebranding. It is expected, though, that there are many more alterations to come to Google Business Profile as they work through this transition.