Google Business Services Change Often
Google is prone to changing its business services, the services’ names, the connections between services, and the rules for using the services. Whenever Google makes such changes, the user interface (admin screens) tends to change.
Does Google Care About User Experience for Business Owners?
Some might argue that user experience (UX) for business owners is a low priority at Google. Google’s cavalier attitude has spawned widespread usability headaches for business owners who attempt to navigate the ever-changing user interface (UI) for Google’s business services.
Google Support for a User Interface (UI) Question
I spoke recently with a Google support rep. Let’s call him Larry (not his real name).
I asked Larry what visual clues Google displays on a Google Plus business page to help business owners differentiate a Local page from a Brand page. (If you’re not sure why this matters, see Google Plus Local vs. Brand pages.)
Larry told me the best way to determine if a Google Plus business page is a Local page or a Brand page is to navigate away from the entire Google Plus service. Here are the steps he suggested.
- Visit the Google Maps service.
- Initiate a Map search for the business you wish to manage at Google Plus.
- Make a note of the business name as it appears in Maps.
- Return to Google Plus.
- Select “All Pages” from the left drop-down menu.
- Match the business name on Maps with the business name on Google Plus.
I questioned how helpful this would be if the Local and Brand pages display the same business name, the same address, and the same logo, as is often the case. Larry admitted such similarities would lessen the effectiveness of his approach.
Hint: Here are some easier ways to determine if the page you’re trying to manage is a Local or Brand page:
Lingering User Experience (UX) Questions
- Is it reasonable to suggest that business owners initiate research at service B (Maps) to determine what type of page they are viewing/managing at service A (Google Plus)? Or is this indicative of a poorly designed user interface at service A (Google Plus)?
- Is Larry’s Map-search technique a reasonable workaround to determine Google-Plus page type (Local or Brand), and if so, how do the UI designers at Google Plus expect business owners to know about this technique, unless we call Larry?
Am I the Only One Confused Here?
As a Charlottesville SEO expert, clients hire my firm to manage their Google Plus for business platforms. Gaining familiarity with online business services can require time. But how much time is reasonable? Is Google Plus for business more challenging than necessary? Or am I the only one who believes the user interface for this business platform could be more intuitive?