Webmasters scramble and cower in fear of Google’s all-powerful algorithms. We do our best creating semantically optimized websites to get our clients found with accessible content.
Google itself is immune from its own judgement and scrutiny, leaving the evidence of past experiments strewn about the internet. Google Maps, Google Places For Business, Google Plus pages, Google Reviews and Google Search have gone through multiple iterations, leaving a confusing trail with multiple points of entry and admin screens. For awhile, Google attempted to make Google+ the control center of its universe, eventually abandoning that in favor of the current Google My Business (and Google Brands). All of these past tools have come to reside under that one (scratch that – those 2) roofs – if you can find them!
We’re offering this navigation map (infographic at the end of the post) for Google My Business to help find your stuff. Google is really trying to be helpful and more useful. Verification, crawling and indexing are much faster than they used to be, and more features are coming into Google Search offering ever more information about your listing, including the opportunity to post directly to your Search Engine Results Page (SERP). They need to improve the User Interface for Google My Business, however. It’s non-intuitive and tricky to navigate, with dead ends and (inadvertently) deceptive interface features.
Google’s own instructions for navigating Google My Business are inadequate and aggravating, including references to “List View,” “Card View,” and “Map View” without telling you where to find these things. The admin pages for your Maps and Google Plus listings are hidden. Maps is behind “Card” view, and Plus is found behind 3 dots – if you can find them. We’ll try to clear that up.
Start Over and go to the Google My Business Front Page
First, exit wherever you’ve ended up in your fruitless search to find a way to edit your listing.
Go to https://business.google.com while logged in to your Gmail (that’s associated with your business).
When you enter Google My Business on a desktop, you’ll see 3 panels “above the fold:” Accounts, To-Do, and Confirm Holiday Hours. (?!) In order to find the useful, essential stuff, you have to scroll down, where you’ll see the panel for Locations. That’s where the controls and edit links are.
For awhile a few years ago, Google used to create a Google+ page automatically for all maps listings. Not any more. If you already have a Google+ Page, it can be found and edited through Google My Business.
If you haven’t created a Google+ Business page, you’re in Google’s new “Brand Account” universe.
For new accounts created via Google My Business, you’ve created a “Brand Account.”
To activate Google+ features for your new Brand Account, first go to your Brand Accounts page, click your new brand, then click to activate Google+ for your brand. Once it’s activated, you can edit your Google+ Page… this is still a good idea, because it helps Google figure out what you think is most important about your website.
Another way to access your Brand Account page is by clicking the Google+ logo via the dropdown hidden under the grid of squares in the upper right next to your username and profile pic (image on the left). When you select “Google+,” there’s a new dropdown under your username that offers a link to your Brand Account page.
To Edit your Google Plus Page, if you have one
On the far right of your Location(s) panel, you’ll see the infamous 3 dots. Click them. (Mouseover doesn’t open the hidden context menu). There you’ll see the means to get into your admin for your Google+ business page. These are automatically generated when you create a Maps or Business listing.
You’ll see links for
- Google Search
- Google Maps
- Google+ (If you’ve already got one)
Picking “Google Maps” will show you your maps listing – but no access to any editing tools for that feature.
To Edit your Maps listing
Just at the top of the Locations panel, to the right, are 3 icons controlling the view options, “List View,” “Card View,” and “Map View.” If you want to edit your maps listing, you need to enter “Card” view. Google neglected to provide an “edit” button on your maps listing itself, and you won’t find it in “Map View” either, nor in your location’s Dashboard.
The Location Dashboard
Google has so many dashboards.
I won’t even begin to enumerate them. Just using Google My Business has exposed us to a few of them – just when you think you’re at a place where you can edit your stuff, you’re only in a place containing hidden links to where you actually can edit your stuff. Very confusing. Google can do that, though, because they’re, well.. Google.
Each location has its own dashboard. It has some cool features (including the new “Posts,” which show on your SERP), but links for editing your Plus or Maps listings are not here.
Google keeps moving stuff around. This post will probably be obsolete in six months… meanwhile, if this has helped you find your way around the Googleverse to get your business properly represented, so much the better.
If you need help with this, we can help you – either as managers on your account, or via screenshare.