Posts Tagged ‘local businesses’

Google Sponsored Tag

Houston TX was first to recieve the tags.

So I have been involved with Google tags for a little while now, since the beginning. Today Google announced that the sponsored tags for businesses would be no more.

“We’ve made a decision to shift our efforts toward other present and future product offerings for local businesses, and will be discontinuing this trial.”

http://googlesmb.blogspot.com/2011/04/update-on-tags.html

Honestly I hate to see these tags go.

Google tags may not have driven hordes of traffic, but that wouldn’t be any surprise as they were so localized. The truth of the matter is that they worked well for many small businesses. The sponsored tags did eat up some of the clicks a business may have received otherwise, but they added a few more that a business wouldn’t have gotten. This is one product that I openly endorsed for Google. This was a good product for most small businesses. Granted, I may have moaned a bit when they took away the view website option, but perhaps that’s because they replaced with … “View More Google Place Pages” options. Which means more views for Google Adsense. Sadly, this move to remove Google Tags sings the same song of “What’s Best for Google?”

Pushing the Google Boost Ads

My full review for Google Boost Ads. The Pros & the Pests to Automated Local Advertising

Google Boost has a lot to offer. And Google Boost has a lot lacking. From my perspective, what it lacks most is similar to what Google’s sponsored tags lacked, CUSTOMER CARE. Or better yet, what Guy Kawasaki stated, “IF you want your customers to trust you then you need to trust your customers.” There is a serious problem when a paying customer following Google’s guidelines gets a “Place no longer exists.” branded below a business name, simply because their trusted anonymous user says it to be so. And there are a myriad of other issues that Google’s local search team is also suffering much of it seems to stem from a trust factor and or customer care perspective. But…. Google’s local search is still the best out there! Heck, Bing isn’t even taking reviews right now. Plus Bing’s maps are horrible for embedding.

So here is my biggest complaint, Google wants to get rid of an nice entry level platform for Local businesses, the Sponsored tags. In it’s place they want to push, Google Boost. The reason this doesn’t look good is because the customer care part still doesn’t exist. But it looks even worse because the song I am hearing from Google is, “What’s going to make Google the most money? That would be Google Boost… So we have decided that Boost is what’s best for our customers.” “We know what’s best for you?” “Just Trust us?” That’s a pretty big step for business owners to take. Trust is most often built with time and history. One step at a time. Anybody that would marry after a first date is considered “NUTS”. Building a business relationship is the same way.

Will Google Boost work? Is it good for local businesses?

I would like Google boost to work for local businesses. But, it’s a completely automated system. As much as I trust the auto pilot on an airplane, I still need to be reassured that their is a real pilot to correct it’s mistakes. Do the math.

But I am just your local pest control guy, so don’t mind me.

Per a neighboring jeweler, local businesses are now being approach by google to take interior photos. They will be 360 degree, virtual tour type images added to Google maps. She said that Google came in, set up their camera, and begun snapping photos as the camera pivoted on its stand. Google will then take the images back and patch them together. Not too dissimilar to what Google Maps does currently with their images taken from on top of their cars to create their street views.

Interior Images are a Smart Move for Google

Not only is Google staying ahead of the competition with this new addition to their maps, but in the same swoop they are verifying that stores and locations on Google maps are legit. This is a great step toward reducing current falsified locations within the maps. Further, Google is engaging their customers. This additional interaction with customers will aid the ever so elusive Google in become more trusted. Google is moving forward and putting more feet on the ground. They are making their maps more relevant and their directory more enhanced. And in classic Google fashion, these images are being done at Google’s expense and offered to the business owners for free. Who is going to refuse free advertising and free Google maps enhancements?

A Reason Owners May Refuse

There are a few reasons that owners may want to refuse Google’s hospitality. The most predominant would be the security of their shops. Thieves would love the opportunity to peek inside the vault without ever entering the premise. If a thief were to stage a heist they would most like scout the area prior to performing the robbery. If a local shop lays out their floor plan online their properties would be more tempting targets as potential thieves would have no risk of being seen on camera prior to a heist.

Risk Takers

As with any move a business makes there is potential risk and the ever looming opportunity cost. In weighing the benefits vs the risks it would be hard to refuse Google’s offer. Any enhancement that provides a competitive business more opportunity to strut their stuff allowing consumers to compare the competition would be welcomed by the confident business owner. And thus the confidence of the business would be conveyed to the potential buyers hopefully instilling a heightened sense of security and leading the consumer closer to a buy. And a good business would have nothing to hide, making non compliant businesses less trustworthy and/or simply less interesting.

Reporting live from the Phoenix Airport while surrounded by 5 little birds…. who’s doing Sky Harbor’s bird control? This is your local pest control guy.