Back when Google Business was tied to Google+ as Business pages, they were easy to manage, but they weren’t perfect. There was confusion around when you were replying to people as yourself or your business since they were intrinsically tied to your Google Account. Once the company’s social spine went down for good, it transitioned companies to the “My Business” app and platform, which provided more dedicated tools to help connect with customers, and one centralized location to handle your Maps listing, interactions, and more.
Now, just as it did with Shopping, Google is killing off the My Business app and shifting users to the web to manage everything. In a new Keyword blog post today, it announced that “Google My Business” would be renamed “Google Business Profile”, and be more directly accessible via a standard Chrome browser and Google search.
These changes will take place at some point in 2022 after the new year, but it’s not yet clear when exactly companies will have to adapt to their new home. As you can see from the GIF above, simply typing your business name into a Google Search box returns not only results but also page navigation for replying to customer messages, editing your business profile, creating promotions, and more.
The existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” We’ll share more details on these changes in the months ahead.Google
Obviously, this is all meant to simplify the experience of using Google’s tools to run your business. Claiming and verifying your ownership of a business will be done right through the search query too, so it’s clear to me that the company is really trying to lower the bar to entry quite a bit. Add to that the fact that it’s transitioning all of its experiences to the web one at a time anyway and the popularity of PWAs are exploding right now, and this is not at all a surprising move.
Despite that, there will undoubtedly be many who will be frustrated at losing their mobile experience and being forced to handle things through the browser. Let me know in the comments if this will heavily affect you and your business, or if you will welcome the extra space on your phone and the easier access to your tools. Google really needs to get all of their web apps to be installable as PWAs prior to these transitions instead of them opening in a browser tab normally and appearing on the phone’s home screen with a Chrome logo attached because that just feels a bit half-baked.