Google Starting to Convert Existing Dashboards to the New Places for Business Dashboard

Google just announced in the forums that they were starting the process of converting existing Dashboard users to the new Placed for Business Dashboard. Here is the post:

As of May 21, some existing Places users will begin to see the new Google Places for Business dashboard. The transition will happen automatically, and all existing users should continue to manage listings at http://places.google.com. Please keep in mind that the new dashboard is still gradually being rolled out, so not all existing users will see the change right now.

What happened to the custom categories I had using the old dashboard?

Custom categories are no longer showing on listings with the new dashboard. Business owners should try to select an auto-filled category that most closely describes their business. We’re working on improving the way categories work, and by sticking with the categories we have defined, we believe we can better connect customers and businesses.

What happened to payment options, additional details, or videos?

These fields do not appear publicly, and the data will not be transferred onto the new dashboard. The “videos” field no longer appears in the dashboard. You can access prior uploaded videos through your Youtube account. If you wish to post videos on the listing for your business, upgrade to a local Google+ page.

I’m using Google+ to manage the local page for my business; what should I do?

Please continue using Google+ for management, as you had before. If you were using both Google+ and Google Places for business, you should continue doing so. When we are ready to migrate the pages that have social features, we will have further instructions.

I’m using Google Places but don’t see the new dashboard, yet. Should I panic?

Don’t panic. The new dashboard is still rolling out gradually, and we’ll continue to post updates here. Please continue to use Google Places for Business as usual.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Starting to Convert Existing Dashboards to the New Places for Business Dashboard by

18 thoughts on “Google Starting to Convert Existing Dashboards to the New Places for Business Dashboard”

  1. Aw man. I was really hoping that existing custom categories might carry over to the new dashboard. Wishful thinking I guess.

  2. Webinar today with Google: “over the next few weeks” we’ll be migrating “every account” over to the new dashboard. As with all G-Local changes, this should be interesting!

  3. Hi,

    Well at the moment its ‘Category Crapgate’ for a lot of businesses.

    When google scrape other web data will they now stop scanning non category/keyword fields and descriptions for a category? Will users with ‘Lodge’ in an address no longer get Categorised as a Holiday Park?

    When will google have a feature where real users in each country can suggest/ask for real world categories? A few TCs emailing in odd ones does not seem a robust business model to me.

    Additional Details were valuable for businesses like one of mine with a diverse range of services across several Yellow Pages headings.
    Can I now add a Places entry for each one with a unique Category and if so can I use the same phone no for the ‘one business’?

    When they say continue to use Google+ do they mean social and a +Local Business page? Treebles says to wait for the new Edit page to add a +Local Business page. So if you go onto the new Edit screen with a non-verified +Local Business page will it merge it in or stop you adding a second one? And is there some SAB hidden address check code? Typically a ‘fail’ area for googles analysts and programmers. Think of added POI’s created in Map Maker for +Local Business page verify/merges where there were duplicate listings in a Maps search, not picked up at entry time, showed one Places listing Google+ page, but not specified to be handled at action time. Sombreo Peaks has never been sorted out by Jade after several months with that issue.

    Are Service Area businesses able to take a Places entry and add the +Local Business in the new Edit page?

    If we have a +Local Business page not verify/merged with a Places entry will it get merged when the new Edit screen is entered? Any SAB issues here where they have a +Local Business page?

    Are Bulk Uploaded Places entries able to use the New Edit screen and so add +Local Business pages?

  4. Let’s observe a moment of silence for custom categories. We had some good times together, gents.

    I really hope Google gets a more comprehensive list of categories, or offers some way to accommodate “weird” businesses.

  5. Looks like Google is trying to do better with Google Places…..Maybe I should stop buying storage units and residential as “business addresses” for Places+.
    Just kidding – who does that?

  6. The whole video thing is confusing. What does “If you wish to post videos on the listing for your business, upgrade to a local Google+ page.” mean?

    Is there a difference between the regular Google+ Local (old Places) page and a “local Google+ page” once it’s been merged?

  7. Thanks for the update, Mike!

    Now should all SABs upgrade to local Google+ pages? Or are we still in the wait-and-see stage?

  8. @All sorry I am late to the conversation, in conferences all day

    @Justin
    The new dashboard does not have a video upload feature so you will need to avail yourself of the G+ social function upgrade as soon as you get the new dashboard. That feature is only available through the G+ Page management interface not the new dashboard.

    @Yaro
    Do you mean a G+ Page that has social features? All listing pages are now G+ Pages.

    Google is saying: Wait for your Dashboard to be upgraded and then you can the social features with the click of a button. Otherwise if you try to upgrade now you will have to reverify.

  9. Mike, or anyone else, have you heard anything about the missing bulk import functionality? We’ve avoided converting accounts because of this, and in newly created accounts, we still haven’t found the link/interface.

  10. @Steve
    The functionality is coming but is not yet available. For those with bulk upload you are stuck in the old dashboard with the old slow data pipelines for a while longer.

    I don’t know when Google will be updating that component although I do know its on the list..

  11. @Andrew
    Categories are certainly in turmoil.

    Are Service Area businesses able to take a Places entry and add the +Local Business in the new Edit page?

    Yes

    Are Bulk Uploaded Places entries able to use the New Edit screen and so add +Local Business pages?

    No. Bulk uploads need to remain in the existing dashboard for the near term

    If we have a +Local Business page not verify/merged with a Places entry will it get merged when the new Edit screen is entered? Any SAB issues here where they have a +Local Business page?

    It will get merged if the claimant is the same. Google always has issues but I don’t there are any special issues with SAB… they should work as well as any business.

    Can I now add a Places entry for each one with a unique Category and if so can I use the same phone no for the ‘one business’?

    No but you can now have 10 categories.

  12. @Mike – yes, I meant a G+ Page that has social features.

    So my understanding is to wait until I get the new dashboard and then “activate” the social features. Correct?

  13. “We’re working on improving the way categories work, and by sticking with the categories we have defined, we believe we can better connect customers and businesses.” Translation: we don’t care that our pre-selected categories may not have a category that matches what your business does — deal with it. Don’t like it? We have a platform named Map Maker.

  14. Wow, so then we need to go back into each Places listing we manage and review the categories? All custom categories will get erased and perhaps there are new categories for us that were not there before? Otherwise if we are not on-top-of-it then we’re hosed?

    Will Google be issuing a press release informing all Businesses in the world to go through this process? Oh, I see, they were never directly informed of custom categories in the first place. Nevermind.

  15. Regarding categories- Google has considered certain categories related to others for quite some time. The categories should not be an issue to be frantic over unless the Places (+, G + business) portions begin to disappear for relevant search terms like carpet cleaning for example. Just because there is not a designated category to choose for the exact search term you want, that does not mean there will not be one closely related that will also allow you to rank for the search term you truly want. As long as all businesses are held to the same standards in regards to search terms there is no need to worry. No one has an advantage over anyone else. If you cannot advertise under carpet cleaning neither can anyone else. Choose carpet cleaner and you will be good to go. THE KEY- figure out what categories are related or grouped with other services.

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