Google Places Upgrades Dashboard Analytics – Is Google Adding a Reservation System?

Thanks to e-mphasis Internet Marketing for pointing out the increased detail that Google Places is now including in the Dashboard Analytics.

Google is not only providing a breakout of desktop vs. mobile activity but is showing a great deal of additional detail in the mobile environment. Note the inclusion of “Add as Contact” and “Reservation”. Is Google planning a reservation service near term?

They have changed the layout, making QR codes and the event posting option more obvious by moving them to the left upper screen quadrant.

There are more date ranges for summary analysis including the ranges today, yesterday, this month, last month and different starts to the week. The implication of this is that this data will be in near real time, allowing for a much more timely view of the affects of promotions.

Most of the analytics also have an added +Show More Search Queries feature that allows the showing 10 results for each segment rather than 5.

In addition to showing where driving directions were requested from Google is also showing locations used in searches for your business which offers a more granular (if still not complete view) of the geo modifiers used in the search phrase. The map showing locations has added more visual detail as well

The new analytics is a welcome improvement over the old one. There are still things that could improve (why only show 10 keywords? why show keywords separate from geography?). Accuracy is still suspect as in my example Impressions and Actions were highest on the desktop but the numbers for terms used were shown as significantly higher on mobile.

Certainly having the granular mobile information, the apparent real time or near real time information, the more flexible date ranges and dramatically improved maps are significant upgrades. Not only do the changes provide an SMB with better understanding of the actions of her clients, they clearly point out the every increasing role of mobile and make its impact both numerically and visually obvious for all to see.

And just what does the word “Reservation” refer to?

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Places Upgrades Dashboard Analytics - Is Google Adding a Reservation System? by

15 thoughts on “Google Places Upgrades Dashboard Analytics – Is Google Adding a Reservation System?”

  1. I don’t like the new look… yeah the additional data is nice and useful, but the Edit link is too small, the link to you Place page opens in the same tab. Well I think I can get used to the new layout, so maybe we should congratulate Google for the changes.

  2. @Plamen

    I would agree on the aesthetic front but I would give up design for information any day… and to my tastes the information lite approach of the dashboard is constraining….

    With the + symbol they now have an interface that would allow for a user to see more complexity if they so chose… they just don’t give them as much as would be useful.

  3. Mike: I find dashboard to be a inconsistent, mostly crappy and unreliable measuring device with regard to web traffic. In too many cases it doesn’t deliver good data.

    I just looked at one accout. From 12/1 to 12/15 its only reporting G mobile traffic to the site. Its not showing anything coming from pc’s. NOTHING. By the way, I tried to purchase Boost through Places on that account…and Google doesn’t have the store id.

    So the dashboard told me I have 24 impressions. Geez.

    Then I checked a Google Adwords account. The account is broken down into Exact match. Its radius probably ties in with Places extremely well.

    The Adwords acct identified 1200+ impressions. Hmmm. the dashboard reported 24. (and that is only 1 set of phrases). The adwords acct accounted for 98 clicks. Then I quickly scanned one of two analytics accts for some of the phrases. Over 300 visits for some of the phrases in that adwords acct.

    Meanwhile the dashboard showed 154 “actions”. So I went back into one of the analytics accts. For the same period I saw over 1500 google visists. I know that the significant majority are for phrases that tend to show in a maps version….and that the vast majority of the searches are within a geography that would/should show in the dashboard.

    So basically for that acct Google is showing 24 impressions when it should be showing probably about 1200.

    Now I could go back and work through the geo portion of GA and tell you roughly how off base the Google Places reporting system is….but hopefully I made my point.

    Frankly its a lot of time and effort to try and correlate the information I get from the Google Places Dashboard with the information I get from other analytical systems…but overall the information within the Dashboard simply sucks. Yup….that is my best term….It mostly returns Suck/not very accurate information.

    Here is an interesting sidelight piece of info as it regards Google Places. You will appreciate this. When I was working to purchase Boost, through G Places, the very positive nice salesperson told me not to change the business name, categories, and other important elements of the Google Places Account. I should have asked in depth questions about that. The rep didn’t go into details.

    Those of us who read your blog know that changes/edits in the G Places account can cause it to be “red flagged” /temporarily suspended for review/ etc.

    The google sales rep didn’t go into details. She moved me forward to try and close the Boost sale.

    Frankly, I’m giving you stats on one G Places account where G Places dashboard is at its worst. Overall though, the data is generally very off base when I try and tie it in with info that I get from other sources.

    My opinion is, if you are going to write nice stuff about G Places Dashboard you should also write about how wierdly distorted it is vis a vis other forms of analytics about traffic.

    At this point its mostly a bs system that Google isn’t really improving, while Google uses this nice little element to push sales for Tags, Boost, and try and get more customers for Adwords and any other revenue sources it can create.

    Well, that is my $0.02 for the day. 😀

    Have a good day, Professor….and stay warm. 😉

  4. @earlpearl,

    You shouldn’t short change yourself as your insights above are worth much more than .02…

    I agree in that the data in Places is distorted to say the least and the GA data is the bible?

    Just as we have opinions for everything, the tools that we use to measure, benchmark and make decisions on, are to be used for the 30,000′ view. Combined, they help me help my clients understand what it is that is necessary to succeed online.

    As long as a business owner can Google a search term and see their listing on the map (1st page), life is good or is it? Several of my own personal listings are always in the top positions but do I get phone calls? It depends on many factors but my opinion is that it’s not the 1 thing you do, it’s all the things you do that make the difference…

    ps, I saw the new places admin this morning on an XP box w/Chrome but I’m not seeing it on the MacBook running FF

  5. @Dennis:

    I wouldn’t say GA is the bible. My max efforts include having two different analytics programs, running ppc and looking at both clicks and impressions and then cross checking with the dashboard. Every reporting system has glitches and inconsistencies. Overall though the one that provides the least info and is the most distorted is the G Places dashboard. Its the one that is most disconnected from what I see as final results.

    IMHO Google has thrown the dashboard stats up as part of a strategy to increase activity with smbs and ultimately monetize it through tags(cheapest), boost, and then adwords or any other ways that Google can monetize.

    I pity the smb that relies solely on dashboard stats. Its pretty inconsistent and largely not informative, especially compared to other sources of info.

  6. I’m still waiting for G to allow integration of a places dashboard with a google analytics account like they have with adwords and adsense. earlpearl has it until then…”overall the information within the Dashboard simply sucks”.

  7. I assume the reservations are associated with the recent launch of reservations for hotels.

    Are the reservation partners providing information back to google places to track reservations completed? Or is this just the number of reservation attempts initiated from places? I would hope the former. Has anyone seen this value being populated?

    I would love to know when this reservation service will be expanded to other types of businesses.

  8. I am now wondering if it even went out the door intentionally in the first place. There were some glaring bugs and the UI was half-baked. I don’t think SMB owners are people you want to be experimenting on. But who knows with Google 🙂

  9. @Jim
    Well for a change, Canada is at parity with the US 🙂

    Who knows… test? buggy? pushed the button too soon? Regardless, I think that it will show up again in roughly the same layout but hopefully with accurate results 🙂

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