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By B.L. Ochman

Having made a holy mess out of Local Pages and Google Places by giving every business on the planet a Google+ page without bothering to tell them about it, Google is now getting serious (hopefully) by launching Google My Business.

Make no mistake, Google My Business also is Google’s attempt to strongly encourage businesses to use Google+. Halelulah! (If the update really turns out to be easier)

As I have been saying for two years, Google+ is not just another social network. It has a strong social component, but it is actually the biggest change in online communications since the interactive website.

Need some help with Google+?
Is there a learning curve? You bet! If you’d like help setting up your Google+ business page and establishing a content strategy for maximum impact, please contact me at 917-566-5855 or email BL at whatsnextonline DOT com. I am CEO of Maximum-Plus.com and an experienced Google+ event producer and business coach.

A few of the robust features of Google+
Among other robust features, including communities, Google+ contains arguably the best (free) video platform ever, and it is seamlessly integrated with YouTube, Google Analytics, Google Maps, Google Drive and – perhaps most crucially – Google search. (Top 10 benefits of Google+)

Using Hangouts on Air, businesses can create public or private, free or paid live-streamed events which are automatically saved to their YouTube Channel where they can be edited, branded, search optimized and put into playlists.



GoToMeeting et al should be quaking in their boots because Hangouts are:

* free

* seamlessly integrate with YouTube

* require no additional software to use

* Hangout videos do not require disk space on your computer to store

* videos are heavily favored in search

Here come the tabloid naysayers
Google+ IS Google 2.0 and businesses ignore it at their peril. Now, Google is making a valiant effort to make it easier for business to understand. So, watch for mainstream media and online tabloids to accuse Google of forcing companies to use its platform. Blah, blah, blah. Just like they told you Google+ was dead a few weeks ago.(I’m not linking to them because they don’t deserve links.) If you believe what they’ll be telling you any minute, I have a bridge to sell you.

Features of Google My Business
As is their wont, Google has half a dozen pages and posts about the new platform, rather than putting all the information in one easily accessible place. According to Google support, businesses using the Google My Business dashboard, will now be able to:

* Maintain up-to-date business information on Google

* Build loyal customers using a Google+ page. Followers of the page for your business can show appreciation and give feedback with posts and reviews, and use the +1 button to endorse products and services on Google+, Google Search, Maps or on ads.

* Track engagement with insights for Google+ pages and posts

* See information on your related Google Analytics account and YouTube channels

* Seamlessly create and track performance of AdWords Express campaigns

Once you verify your business on Google My Business, you can:

* Help get your business found on Google. Google can use the business information you provide in local search results.

* Read and respond to reviews from your customers

* Get insights on how customers searched for your business, and where they’re coming from

Official Google My Business Hangout on Air June 19
There is an official Google+ Hangout on Air introducing Google My Business on June 19 from 2-3 PM EDT. You also can watch on YouTube from a computer or any Internet-connected mobile device.

Bonus Links:
G+Wiz logo- Wondering what your business can do with Google+ Hangouts on Air?

- Kentucky 5th graders on Virtual Field Trip via Hangout on Air

- 6 Great Examples of G+ Business Hangouts on Air: from career counseling to Chinese classes

- Eight incredibly creative and lucrative ways smart brands are using Google+

- 11 ways every GooglePlus post promotes your content

- Top three reasons you can’t ignore GooglePlus for another minute!

- More of my posts about Google+ here

Need some help with Google+?
Is there a learning curve? You bet! If you’d like help setting up your Google+ business page and establishing a content strategy for maximum impact, please contact me at 917-566-5855 or email BL at whatsnextonline DOT com. I am CEO of Maximum-Plus.com and an experienced Google+ event producer and business coach.