Google and Your Business Address
Google’s paid advertising service, AdWords, is one of the 600 pound gorillas of the Internet. It is their primary income source, worth many billions of dollars per year. Their biggest competitor, Bing, is only half their size, and while Google is constantly rolling out new features, Bing is constantly trying to catch up with Google, adding things Google did a year or two previously, and even bragging about how easy it is to import your Google campaigns into Bing.
Bing’s clicks tend to be cheaper and of lower quality. Meanwhile, Google is constantly adding features so you can do a better and more effective job of running ads and to make it easier to manage the often highly complex campaigns. AdWords have come a long way, baby.
I thought I’d highlight one recent changes, having to do with what are called “extensions”. With AdWords, your ads can have many extras tacked on to them, such as your address, phone number, and additional links to internal pages of your site.
Something Google has been working on for years is integrating everything. You can now log into all your Google services through a single login. In fact, some things won’t work right unless you use a common login for multiple services.
This has now reached the subject of addresses, what are called location extensions, something that has always been a problem. Wrong addresses, even phony addresses can really mess up a business, and were common and often difficult to fix. Google’s answer has been to change what was once just Google Maps through several upgrades (Google Places, Google+ Local) to what is now Google My Business – an integrated local business listing service – that drives Google Maps and integrates with Google+, AdWords and more.
Soon, the only way your location can appear in your ads is if the address is coming from you’re My Business Account. That change started with no longer allowing addresses within the text of an ad, the only place it can appear is in a location extension.
People are often suspicious of Google’s actions, but this change makes perfect sense. The My Business account is free, so they aren’t making money off of it. But it gives you a way to ensure all of your address information in Google services matches and is correct, by handling it in one place.
This makes it easier for the business to manage their address information. It also makes it easier for Google to know that a particular website, Google+ page, My Business Account, AdWords account and Maps listing all represent the same business.
This is all about Google understanding who you are – for the business – and what you are looking for – for the consumer. That’s how Google My Business makes their money. Delivering accurate information accurately.
As far as the management side of it goes, anyone who has had to deal with this issue in the past will appreciate the simplicity and improvement of doing it through one unified login.
It makes wrong addresses and fraudulent addresses that much less likely. It is a lot harder to fool people about a business when people see the address shows up on Google Maps as a UPS Store, or obviously a residence. Not everyone will appreciate that – for example if you are a small business operating out of your home trying to compete with larger companies that have an office location.
Google is often accused of making decisions based on money. It is true, but they are taking the long view of it, which is by delivering the information people are looking for, as accurately and simply and easily and quickly as possible, people will continue to use their services. That is how they make their money.
This Google My Business change in locations management is a result of that philosophy