The Potential Effects of a Pay-to-Play Google My Business

It was noted last week that Google sent a survey to a segment of Google My Business users regarding services and features. More specifically, the survey gauged the interest of users in paying for those services and features.

While the survey doesn’t mean any changes are immediately imminent, it does indicate that Google My Business will be monetized at some point. So what would a subscription model look like for small businesses, brands, and their partners? Location3 Director of Marketing Josh Allen and Director of Earned and Owned Matt Lacuesta gave their take on how it could play out. Here’s an excerpt from “Does Google’s Hint at Pay-to-Play for GMB Put the Channel at Risk?” via LSA Insider:

On The Ground

  • We’ve seen a surge in engagement with GMB profiles from phone calls, clicks to website and driving directions because of increased visibility in SERPs and the adoption of Google Maps across different mobile platforms. This surge shows value to users, but a change in the model could ultimately detract from that value as paid features fail to deliver the results of the free model.

In the Air

  • It’s likely that SMBs are put in the most difficult position. Without the help of corporate resources, they could be forced to do away with GMB altogether, choosing instead to build profiles on free platforms like Facebook. For those that are committed to the benefits of a GMB profile despite the costs, we could see a decrease in their paid search budgets and spending on non-brand ad campaigns as a way to cover those costs. Is Google simply robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Read the full post for further analysis.

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