Google to Start Charging for Google My Business Listings?
Google my business listings is a service that Google has offered to businesses for free for the last decade that it has been in existence. It is one of the ways that Google helps business owners and service providers improve on their local SEO.
A Google My Business listing enables business owners to place their business and service information online. This helps businesses reach customers in close proximity to their businesses faster. It relies on Google Maps location services. When a potential customer makes a search on Google for a particular service, Google shows them to service providers close to them.
Businesses that have not claimed and verified their business listing pages cannot enjoy this free advertising service from Google.
Google makes most of its revenue from advertisements. The online marketing and advertising landscape are changing and these changes are affecting Google’s business model. These changes may lead to Google changing the use of Google My Business listing services from free to a paid for service
However, it is very unlikely that this could happen. If it does happen Google, would probably charge for different aspects of the features of the listing. The Google listing will then have the basic free listing and a premium service listing.
Features that Google Could Start Charging For
A recently concluded Google survey on Google My Business has hinted on specific current and additional features of the GMB listing Google would ask users to pay for.
In this survey, Google asked current Google My Business users to identify features they could pay for to ensure increased visibility of their businesses. It also offered a pricing guide on how much users could pay for a bundle of particular services monthly. At the same time, the survey sought to find out how much users were willing to part with for the premium services.
Some of the premium features that Google intends to introduce to for the Google My Business include:
- Customer support offered by Google
- A booking button that can also be promoted
- Verified reviews to avoid malicious reviews
- A promoted map pin
- Ability for customers to request and receive instant price quotes on services provided
- Ad-free business listing profiles
- A video profile of the business
- Appearing on Google search results
- Appearing on search results of competitors
- Automated messages and response to reviews and requests among other additional features.
In the survey, Google asks participants to choose a bundle of any four services that they would pay for. They then offer an estimated price that they would charge for the service.
Survey participants are also asked how much they would be willing to pay for the chosen services.
Google offers a price of between $25 and $70 paid monthly for the bundles of the new premium services offered for Google My Business listings.
It seems likely that Google will ask businesses to pay for listings. Which of these premium listings services would you pay for? How much would you pay? Let us know.