Google My Business Locations (Bulk) Gets Interface Update

Michael Wallace (@LocalGladiator) of Ethology has alerted me to a new, shiny interface for the Google My Business Locations (i.e. bulk) dashboard.

Announced in the Help Files with the interface conventions detailed here, the interface appears to improve what has been a product frequented with bugs and inconsistencies. Google has now posted in the forum as well where they note that time to live has improved. .

The new interface provides meaningful error states and the options to fix the errors as well as the ability to sort locations by Status, Store Code or location Name. There is also a “to-Do” list option that quickly shows you listings that require updates. Hopefully the many idiopathic error messages that had no resolution have been banished as well.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.35.16 PM

 

There is a pull out window that allows multiple ways of filtering the listings by different state so that you can view & hopefully repair listings that are in various states of well being or disrepair:

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 10.36.39 PM

  • Formatting errors
  • Duplicate store codes
  • Duplicate locations
  • Duplicate addresses
  • Disabled
  • Different owner
  • Google updates
  • Missing store codes
  • Pending review
  • Unverified locations
  • Live locations

Unfortunately analytics & review management are still on a per location basis with no opportunity to view them collectively and there is no option to add photos to the Plus Page without the owner/manager returning to each location’s page level editor in Plus. All three gaping productivity sinks that will some day be fixed. It is also unclear whether Google has fixed the annoying 200 character limit on description although since this is mostly a cosmetic upgrade it seems unlikely. Oh and there is still no phone support.

The interface is a definite improvement for bulk users. But there is still a long way to go.

Updated AM, May 13 with minor details.

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Google My Business Locations (Bulk) Gets Interface Update by

17 thoughts on “Google My Business Locations (Bulk) Gets Interface Update”

  1. Finally Google has updated this thing! It seemed like Google My Business is like the forgotten child of Google. They had done a few small updates since 2012 when they went from Google Places to Google+ Local. Will these actual error messages really mean anything or be worthless like they were before? It would be really nice if it showed a text list of listings instead of the big box previews that they had. When you have multiple clients in one account it can be long.

    And one more thing, can Google make up their mind about the name of this? Since 2012 it’s been Google Places, Google+ Local and now Google My Business.

    1. Hi Cary – some of the errors seem meaningful and easily resolvable but I doubt that all of the weird non specific errors have gone away.

      Ps it’s name is “My Business Locations”

  2. Good catch, Mike. I was just coming here to see if you noticed it before I did.

    Initial reaction is I really like the new updates and interface. Not only does it look much better, it looks to function better as well.

    1. Hi Brian – yes it is a definite improvement with an interface that is easy to understand and would appear to make managing listings easier. I sure do wish though that they would implement enterprise level reporting for reviews and analytics. I am curious if the fix that stupid 200 character limit as well. Let me know.

  3. Nice to see this, Mike! Last week in Mountain View, Google reps alluded to a large focus on Google My Business Locations in 2015 which was encouraging.

    Their cryptic commentary made it sound like this might be the first in an important series of updates, including better tools/processes for ownership resolution and other challenges.

  4. Cary,

    The name of the general product (not Locations) Is still Google+ Local too.

    Google+ Local or just Google+ or Google Local is the name of the public/consumer facing page.

    Google My Business is just the name of the back end – the business owner’s management dashboard.

    Then for the bulk product, add Locations to the name.

    Confusing, I know…

  5. @Linda
    With G+ dropping local from the menu I am convinced that the article I wrote in 6/2013 is more true than ever: Is Google Debranding Local?.

    It would appear that with the switch to mobile dominance Google is looking to make Google Maps the center of the local ecosystem and in so doing, do away with G+ Local monikers.

  6. We were trying to get a similar article completed today also. The new interface is great. The ability to download is very useful – I had not noticed this on the old Locations dash before (although I may have just never needed it before).

    We are quite happy with the 6 quick links to check the live status of the local search results, maps result, G+ Page, GMB Dash, Insights & reviews which is a little better than what is available in the GMB Dash for a single businesses.

    The To-Do list is a nice reminder of the major outstanding issues.

    Can any one explain the function of Lables?

    Also on the subject of phone support – at the bottom of the pull out window there is the option to contact support – within the options there is the option to request a call.

    I have just tested the option to call and I was connected with the GMB team. So it seems that there is some sort of support. Which is great!

    1. @John
      Thanks for correcting me on the support issue. I had seen the button but since I had written this at 1o:30 last night all of the call options were dimmed. My mistake.

      Where is the “Lables” mention?

  7. @John M Lynch: Nice catch…seems to be a new way to “tag” your listings for internal search within your listings.

    @Mike: It’s in the current spreadsheet sample as well as in the options when manually adding a location.

    In the current spreadsheet example they prefilled the column with words such as “Recently opened, High-traffic”. In the referenced support page below they provide an example with words such as “West coast” and “East coast”.

    More info on that by Google: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3370250?hl=en#labels

  8. As of 5/20/15, there is still a 200 character limit on descriptions. And you still can’t add photos via the bulk upload spreadsheet (a while ago, you were able to link to the photo you wanted on the listing).

  9. Hi Mike,

    Looking at your first screenshot, I’m wondering – how are you able to bulk upload and manage multiple unrelated businesses? I was under the impression that all locations in Google My Business Locations need to be under the same brand name. And also, did you get your bulk account verified or verify each page individually i.e. with postcards?

    Thanks!
    Jess

    1. @Jess
      You are correct. They do need to be the same business. I was able to manage multiples via the bulk interface but I can view my GMB dashboard that has multiple businesses there. So it was just so I could capture the screen grab and it isn’t real.

  10. Its been a while since this was posted – Any word on if there has been improvements to the character limits, phone support, etc?

    Thanks @Linda Buquet for clearing that up – I was confused about the differences between them as well.

    @Mike Blumenthal Could be, that’s an interesting thought.

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