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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Releases GMB API 3.2 with Insights

Google has update the Google GMB API to v. 3.2 this afternoon and included in the update is full access to 18 months of Insights data.

Essentially the same data currently visible in the GMB Insights is available via the API and you can now subscribe to real-time notifications for new Google Updates. This release fills one of the major gaps in the API and provides extended history of data. This will allow dashboards to do month over month comparisons as well as aggregation of multi-locaiton data. It could also be integrated with Google Anallytics in the same dashboard. Unfotunately Analytics does not itself access the data.

The calls include values for:

How customers find your listing

  • Direct queries: How many customers searched for your business name or address directly.
  • Discover queries: How many customers searched for a category, product, or service that you offer, and your listing appeared.

Where customers find you on Google

  • Views on Maps: How many customers found your business on Google Maps.
  • Views on Search: How many customers found your business on Google Search.

Customer actions

  • Visits to Website: How many customers visited your website.
  • Clicks to Phone: How many customers called your business. (This metric can be further broken down to see number of clicks by time of day and day of week.)
  • Clicks for Driving Directions: How many customers requested driving directions to your business. 

Driving Directions Requests

  • This report provides the top 10 places from which customers request driving directions  to your business location.

 All of the above metrics (with the exception of driving directions requests) may be available for the last 18 months as daily or total aggregates. Driving directions requests will only be available as an aggregate over a 7, 30, or 90 day period. Also, insights are currently limited to a batch size of 10 locations per call.

What is this api and data good for? Besides significantly more historical data you now might be able to:

  • Create month over month, quarter over quarter or y/y (once you have archived enough data*) comparisons for the location
  • Aggregate multi location data into a single overall report
  • Provide m/m, q/q or y/y view of the multi location data
  • Compare one location or more locations to other locations performance
  • Compare percentage/relative gains by location and across multiple locations
  • Consolidate this data with data from Google Analytics and other data sources into a dashboard for a better understanding of overall kpis for your locations both in aggregate and individually

This sort of data analysis would allow for a multi-location business or agencies to do split testing of marketing efforts to see which led efforts led to the greatest gains in which markets.

Essentially it means that an agency or service like Moz/Yext or a multi-location business can now build out more sophisticated analytics that allows businesses to make more data based decisions about their local marketing. About time!

From Google’s POV it will tightly integrate the GMB into the marketing efforts and mindshare of the largest multi location chains and agencies.

More information can be found in the forum, at the developer blog and in the documentation.

Releases to the API have occurred regularly every 4 to 6 months.

Google GMB V 1.0 API Becoming More Available 

Google My Business Releases V2.0 of the GMB API 

Google Releases GMB API V3.0  

Google My Business API Gets Updated to V3.1 

* I am not sure what the API Terms of Service are and whether you can save historical data beyond the 18 month window.