Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Google My Business API Gets Updated to V3.1
These real time updates with push capabilities will allow businesses monitoring their listing via a dashboard to be actively notified of status changes, data updates and incoming reviews without having to make a call to Google for that information. It should allow businesses to respond more quickly to any of these changes.
According to Google additional features for V3.1 are be released in the coming weeks and will provide support within the API for additional attribute types including things like a menu URL and payment methods.
This is an expansion of attribute data beyond simple yes/no states previously collected via the API and shows Google’s ever increasing desire for this additional, structured data. The menu URL will remove a huge pain point that many restaurants have confronted by showing an old 3rd party link and they have not been able to update it.
There are three additional features in this API that will be of interest:
- Maps URL in location response allows for easy navigation to the location on Google Maps
- Additional Location States provides a better understanding of the action required on a location
- New category service allows developers to get up to date list of GMB supported categories by country and language
The Map URL will create a universal URL to use that will allow users to easily navigate to a location (and possibly leave reviews). The creation of a category API will facilitate 3rd party understanding of categories world wide. The tool will be available with categories for each language and country and will be updated continuously making it easier for 3rd parties to explore and choose Google categories.
The critical piece still missing is the Insights API. Google has noted in conversations that they are aware of the demand for accessing and aggregating location insights. Given that it was recently updated and rewritten from the ground up, one can assume that giving access to the API was considered in the rebuild.
While the features provided are going to be useful the real story of the update is the demonstration of Google’s ongoing and regular committment of development resources. We first heard of V1 of the API in mid October 2015. Google subsequently released V2.0 of the GMB API in mid December, 2015 and they released 3.0 in May of this year. That is a release update schedule of once every 5 or so months. Google also noted that V2.0 of the API would be deprecated on Dec 6, 2016 and sunset a month later.
This will be their 3rd product release for GMB in September and while none of the releases have been earth shattering, they continue to reinforce my observation that they are in fact taking a more “mature” approach to development.
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