“Google is controlling the entire local experience—discovery, presentation, and transaction—and there’s just nowhere for agencies to add value, or make any money from that value,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.
“Most newspapers and Yellow Pages (and Yelp?) are basically ad-selling machines. GateHouse, in selling HR, IT, and financing services as well as digital services, understands that once you know how to sell one service, you can sell (or more likely upsell) any service. It’s critical for legacy organizations to bite the bullet and figure out services,” writes Mike Blumenthal.
“In Facebook’s pivot to focusing on person-to-person communications and its strong emphasis on messaging, is there an implicit concession that the company will not make Facebook itself the center of its local effort?” Mike Blumenthal asks in this week’s biweekly column with David Mihm.
“Google’s made plenty of laudatory improvements to Google My Business and associated products over the past 24 months, and there does seem to be a qualitative shift in the way it’s approaching the space,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.
In the latest of their biweekly columns, David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal explore what they find to be a troubling practice on Google’s part: granting select platforms the power to insert themselves into a local business’ knowledge panel without any recourse for the business or verifying that the information is accurate.
“The changing nature of search and the increasing localization are making “traditional SEO” harder, more expensive, and less productive of ROI, and that should lead every agency to assess what they are delivering and to whom,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest biweekly column.
Given Google’s new anti-review gating guidelines, what’s important for businesses, Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column, is to “make giving direct feedback to the business extremely easy. Most unhappy consumers just want to express their dissatisfaction and given a choice will do so directly with the business rather than on a review site.”
“Presentation layer doesn’t sufficiently describe Google’s ambitions. They want to be the transaction layer of the Internet—at least in local,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their latest biweekly column.
“Given the primacy of Google’s market position, and the primacy of Knowledge Panels in SERPs—also a conscious product decision on Google’s part—the percentage of customers who are likely to come across fake information is great,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.
“If Google succeeds at improving AMP with Wordpress and AMP for HTML, it will still be two to three years before SMB adoption has significant impact given how slowly the SMB moves on this front,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column.
“While I think [these local ad changes] might be better for many small businesses AND consumers, it gives Google a great deal of power to approve or disapprove participants,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column.
“Regardless of the right package, the key for both agencies and small businesses is to choose best-of-breed components in each galaxy that integrate with each other so that you can add relevant and profitable services over time,” David Mihm says to Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly column.
Google really left businesses hanging with the Q&A release, Mike BLumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column: “We had enough engineering cycles that we could “step into the breach” of what is obviously a big brand problem. Whether it is long term or not depends on what Google can parse from the questions in terms of improving results. “
“It will be interesting to watch how much SMBs’ costs go up with Facebook to achieve the same level of engagement that they have been enjoying,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column. “As Google expands their many local offerings, this might just play into their hands by forcing businesses back to Google My Business.”
“There may only be 6-7 ‘commands’ that we use regularly with voice, though I’m willing to bet that as people get more and more accustomed to the interface, the horizon of possibilities expands,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.
“In the developing world, Google has a simplified path to the GMB where if a business first creates a website they can get verified more easily,” Mike Blumenthal notes. “Thus the website becomes the hook into Google’s data funnel. In the US, and most other developed countries, I would speculate that it is typically the other way around”
Regardless of what Google thinks is in the best interest of the searcher, the company has “no choice but to accelerate their monetization in Local to keep their revenues growing at a healthy clip and Wall Street happy,” David mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.
“While I do think this is about a new revenue stream in new categories and cleaning up spammy industries the rebranding might just also be an effort (unusual for Google) brand clarity around their Google Home product,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their bi-weekly column..
“As audiences age out, the number of print subscribers will plummet, and as older small business owners retire, old ways of doing business … retire with them as well,” David Mihm writes to Mike Blumenthal. “Legacy media companies that don’t evolve rapidly are going to be left with no audience and no customers.”