Google has been hard at work on local in 2018 and 2019, taking strides toward making its Google My Business app the one-stop-shop for local businesses hoping to connect with customers through digital means. Nevertheless, local is a tricky, 24-7 business, and when it comes to connecting brick-and-mortars with customers nearby, Alphabet’s core business has some room for improvement.
Following a seemingly arbitrary choice on Google’s part to move Posts to the bottom of the Knowledge Panel, their efficacy in boosting businesses’ local search presence seems to be dropping.
The introduction of a new Knowledge Graph layer in the form of “Topics” indicates to me that Google’s latest efforts in this arena will extend in two directions beyond Local entities. I see these linkages extending all the way up the search journey to initial consideration and even further down the funnel beyond Local entities.
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.
“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.
Brand engagement with Google Q & A would not just provide authoritative answers to consumers who are looking to do business with brands but would also demonstrate a level of brand concern that could provide a competitive advantage.