It is probably safe to say, most folks in the business world know that Google often changes its search algorithm. But, few people know they do it 500-600 times per year. While most of the changes are small, Google rolls out a major change every so often that affects search results in a big way.

Google has been at it again, this time making changes to the business interface designed to make life easier for local businesses and brands to be found in Google. At the heart of what Google My Business is all about is a new page that helps unify various metrics and options about how your business is listed with Google.

If you previously used Google Places for Business or the Google+ Pages dashboard to manage your business information, you’ve probably noticed that your account has been automatically upgraded to the Google My Business dashboard. Google My Business now makes it easier for your local business information to be found across Google, including on Google maps, Google search, and Google+.

Google My Business is nothing more than a dashboard…think about it as your command center to make changes to your business listing (address, contact info, hours of operation, maps, etc.). You can also manage any Google Adword campaigns you may have and even make changes to your Google+ page, manage reviews, and access your website’s analytics.

Bottom line? Google My Business has replaced Google Places but not Google+. As most business owners already know, Google+ page is the social media platform to engage customers. However, Google+ is being dismantled or at least being changed from its intended purpose due to the fact it failed to live up to expectations of overtaking Facebook. However, until there’s enough evidence that it isn’t still good from an SEO standpoint, I think the platform should still be considered as a part of your social media strategy. However, I wouldn’t invest many resources.

Confused yet? Google doesn’t make things simple. But, your business still has to play by their rules to maximize SEO in order for consumers to easily find your products and services online. Need help? Give me a call; I can make sense of the Google universe for you.