Technology: Google courts local businesses with new profile features - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyGoogle courts local businesses with new profile features

20:30  20 june  2019
20:30  20 june  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Google announces cloud-based, AI-powered virtual phone agent for small businesses

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Your Business Profile appears right when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps. Google My Business makes it easy to create and update your Business Profile —so you can stand out, and bring customers in. START NOW.

Summary: Listings on Google My Business can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are. We've come up with a list of guidelines for local businesses to maintain high quality information on Google .

Google courts local businesses with new profile features© Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California

Google wants to become the go-to hub for people searching for restaurants or other local businesses. The search giant on Thursday announced new features to revamp business profiles on Google Maps and search. Those are the pages that give you a restaurant's rating, a snapshot at popular dishes and general information like store hours or the restaurant's phone number.

Now, business owners will be able to customize the cover photo you see at the top of the profile. Owners will also get to pick a new "short name" URL that customers can use to share the business profile with other people. Businesses can also reward people who follow them on Google by offering them exclusive deals. And the businesses that are most responsive to customers and keep their profiles up to date will be able to earn badges and receive a "local favorite" distinction.

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To add your business information to Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties, create a Google My Business listing (or get access to one, if it exists). Use Google My Business for free to manag.

Official Google My Business Help Center where you can find tips and tutorials on using Google My Business and other answers to frequently asked questions.

Google is also offering store owners more options for window stickers, like one that says "Review us on Google," and another that says, "Follow us on Google."

"When we first started mapping out the world, we were first focused on getting users from point A to point B," Bhavesh Mehta, a Google vice president of engineering, said at a press event in San Francisco. "Over time, we saw people wanted more information about businesses."

The new features take aim at other local business services like Yelp, which also offers business profiles with ratings and other information. Yelp has long been antagonistic towards Google's local business efforts, arguing that Google abuses its dominance to prioritize its own listings and services over those of competitors. Google wouldn't directly address the competition with Yelp, but said it's focused on creating a good experience for users.

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If you aren't a local business (one that serves customers at a particular location or within a designated service area), consider looking into Posts on Google for verified entities. Posting through Google My Business lets you publish your events, products, and services directly to Google Search and Maps.

This helps Google determine that the social profile is managed by an owner or authorized representative of the business . If you see a social profile in your listing that isn’t related to your business , you can request to have it removed by clicking Feedback in the bottom right corner below

Google courts local businesses with new profile features© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. mod-1-phone-callouts-d2x-1

The new features are part of Google's push to make Maps about more than just navigation. Last year, Google announced features to make the app more social, such as a "for you" tab that offers tailored recommendations and a "match score" to tell you how much you might like a restaurant or business. Business profiles that you follow will show up in the "for you" tab.

Google also said last month it's bringing food ordering to Maps, search and its Google Assistant software by partnering with delivery services including DoorDash and Postmates.

Men charged with robbing four businesses in one night.
A man is behind bars after police say he and two others admitted to robbing four businesses in the Louisville area. Police charged Christopher Smyzer with first-degree robbery. Arrest records indicate Smyzer and two other people entered four businesses armed with handguns and demanded cash from employees. They allegedly robbed a Subway, a Mapco, a Dollar General and a Circle K. They committed the robberies in a three hour span. The Louisville

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