“What are we going to do tonight, Google?”
“The same thing we do every night, Man in Boxers Eating Ice Cream: try and take over the world.”
Since June, we’ve seen a whole lot of movement from Google. We’ve all heard about the $2.7B fine the EU spanked Google with, but what else is new with the still-flourishing company that’s seemingly become the Brain to our Pinky?
Google My Business Mobile Messaging
Our auto dealers rely on the leads they acquire online, and now Google has given them yet another way to connect to potential customers. With the new messaging feature in Google My Business, companies can chat directly with customers who access their business listing page. But how does it work?
First, GMB owners must turn messaging on by signing into their account, navigating to the “Home” menu, and clicking on the “Chat” button.
Next, they’ll want to add a mobile device to receive prompt text messages. The phone number will be masked through by Google, so there’s no need to worry about text-stalkers (they exist).
Alternatively, if you have a Google Allo device, you can set up messaging through that.
If the business is open (see: hours of operation) and ready to serve, customers will be informed that messaging is available, as well as what a typical response time is. You’ll want to make it a priority to respond to inquiries promptly as it will be tracked by Google and displayed for all to see. Don’t be a flake!
Read more about Google’s new messaging feature here.
Google Posts Now Live
Announced in June, Google Posts (via Google My Business) has expanded to all small businesses. Posts are essentially Tweets at a 300-word clip, with optional inclusions of images, events (with dates and times), and call-to-action buttons.
The biggest benefit of creating a post is that it has a chance to find its way into the Knowledge Panel. The first 100 characters seem to be what the search engine pulls, so make them count.
Some recommendations for using Google Posts effectively include the following:
- Posts don’t integrate with Analytics, so if you’d like to track clicks and impressions, create a custom landing page URL to use with call-to-action buttons.
- Image sizes bust be larger than 250×250 pixels, with 750×750 pixels being the target.
- Google doesn’t index these posts, so keep all data securely in a spreadsheet for future analysis.
To access and set up Google Posts, users can click on the “Posts” link on the left side of their business listing. We don’t have much faith that Google Posts will become the next Twitter, but because posts are deleted after 7 days, they may be excellent to promote temporary sales and events. The jury is still out.
Google DeepMind AI is ALIVE(ish)!
The headline is terrifying: “Google’s DeepMind AI just taught itself to walk.” We’re talking about a Will Smith-led film about the end of days but in real life. Absolutely, 100%, crap-your-pants, post-apocalyptic terrifying. Just watch the video below—if you can stomach it.
GMB Insights Emails
For business owners keen on being in the know, GMB’s latest “Insights Email” update should excite, inform, and excite some more.
Aesthetically pleasing—we believe that Google must use rotating templates as email themes are different per GMB user—and full of data, the new Google My Business emails share more monthly info than ever before, including website visits, acquired views, queries that resulted in impressions, and percentage month-to-month stats. As a marketing company who provides insights emails to our clients, OppMax gives a thumbs-up to this update.
No More “Permanently Closed” Business Listings
Local SEOs used to despise those two little words in red: “Permanently closed.”
For one, a client’s listing being marked as closed was a big problem. Two, a nonclient marked as closed still took up real estate in the Local Finder. And three, black-hat spammers and hack-the-planet wannabes could cause chaos if they decided to report local businesses as closed.
With the removal of this label, half of those problems immediately become non-problems, but one significant and glaring issue has surfaced: you aren’t informed that your listing has been removed unless you’re a religious visitor of your GMB dashboard. Now, instead of seeing your listing as “permanently closed,” it will simply go kaput.
Improved Google Image Search
In May, you may have read our post about Google Images being used as ranking factors. As an update that runs parallel to this, Google revealed that image searches now include videos and recipes that are properly marked up with schema.
Click on the image from your mobile device, and you’ll be given an AMP-optimized page along with the image or video. It’s just another way Google is keeping you on Google.
Google Jobs Updates
I also posted about Google Jobs a couple weeks ago, but those crafty Googlians have since created a Jobs FAQ page to better explain how to post and search new listings. It’s really riveting stuff (/s).
Test My Site Tool Update
Just announced last month, Google’s Test My Site tool has taken a big leap forward in that it now compares your mobile site speed to that of your competitors. Enter your site URL at https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/.
Of course, Google has surely gone through dozens if not hundreds of other changes in just 60 days, but ain’t nobody got time to list them all!
To keep track of industry updates, read last week’s post here, and run through some trial-and-error tests to see how these changes may affect your business. If you need help, trust the automotive SEO experts here at OppMax to get you on your way.
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