Google Maps Continues to Morph
For online search, Google Maps is becoming the go-to place for everything from finding a website, directions to a business, and reviews. You can see bike paths, check the traffic, and share your location with your friends.
Google Maps allows you to contribute business information, and you can even become an expert local guide. You can create a map of your favorite places, embed it, and share it with others.
What next? It was recently announced that Maps have become more interactive with Google Maps Q&A. In other words, you’ll be able to chat via a maps business listing.
This tells more about how it works:
Google brings Q&As to Google Maps | TechCrunch
Starting now, when you find a place in Google Maps, for example, you can scroll down in the business’ listing and find the new Q&A section between the business’ details like phone numbers and the “popular times” widget. Unsurprisingly, you’re not likely to find any questions there yet (and I don’t think there’s a prize for asking the first question), but that’ll likely change over time.
Google is also encouraging business owners to use this for an FAQ section, and the company notes that business owners will get a notification when somebody asks a question.
Read the full post here: Google brings Q&As to Google Maps
This new development for Google Maps is only available via mobile. Once you have searched for a location, you touch More Info at the bottom, which takes you to the business listing.
Scroll down past the option to claim the business and you’ll see a box for Questions & Answers. Enter your question or comment and click post.
You can even upvote information so people know it was helpful. The following video shows how the Q&A works:
There has been speculation for quite some time that Google Plus, the social network owned by Google, is eventually going to fold. Many were surprised when they rolled out an updated version of Google Plus at the beginning of 2017.
However, the 550 million active users on Google+ doesn’t compare to the 1 billion daily users of Facebook. So, how can they make their platforms more social?
We all know Google is constantly morphing, and two places in particular these changes are happening is with Google Maps and Google My Business listings. Earlier this summer they added the ability to post about events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps.
These posts are basically like blogging directly on your business listing, providing helpful content for people searching for a business like yours.
They also offer a messaging app for mobile, where users are able to send questions about your business. The business owner can set up auto-responses when they are busy and follow up with the potential customer as soon as they are available.
You can read more about this feature that was fully rolled out around a month ago:
Google Messaging Rolling Out to More Dashboards
The product allows the business to “listen” to the messages either via SMS or Allo. Customers are advised on the typical business response time.
Google has been giving business owners more and more reasons to visit the front page of Google for their brand search. It seems that with Messaging, Google is attempting to give consumers a reason as well.
See the full post here: Google Messaging Rolling Out to More Dashboards
My point is that it almost seems like they are transitioning from Google+ to social features within Google Maps and Google My Business listings. The mobile revolution is behind a lot of the updates, and it only makes sense to focus on those users.