Lots of good stuff this morning on Google “Business Builder” – GOOG’s roll-up of high-powered SMB marketing tools slated to roll-out in July. Here’s a nice infographic from the Wall Street Journal:

Mike Blumenthal has a nice overview and some healthy skepticism:

“When this occurs the real Google+ Local will be rolling, not just a new location for a landing page, but a substntial improvement to the static and marginally functional Dashboard. Let’s hope that it is an integrated marketing solution that is elegant, provides significant on-going value and works properly right out of the gate.”

Barry Schwartz found this nugget in a Webmaster World Thread on the subject:

“Seems like divide and conquer of the search ‘problem’. Credibility & positive feedback to play a bigger role in ranking rather than links and anchor text. If google can automatically take you to a froogle like search rather than generic search when it’s relevant, you can see why they’d want to.”

I personally liked this bon mot:

“The ONLY way I am going to participate if there’s any respect given back to local businesses. Such as – there’s a Google rep that can look at site and in minutes say, for instance, why it was penalized by some new update. now, THAT would be a novel idea, and a REAL small business problem they can EASILY solve (and choose NOT TO). Otherwise, I don’t see them solve any business problems that hasn’t been already solved without them.
Someone who thinks “immediate feedback” is a business problem clearly is out of touch with business world. The real problem is that business can disappear in Google just as quickly as it appears in it, and there’s noone to give that business a feedback as far as WHY and WHAT TO DO.”

It’s always easy for businesses to bitch and moan that Google doesn’t help them enough – the whole basically-a-monopoly thing sure helps, but of course how quickly we forget the days when your success was based on how long you had been advertising in the local yellow pages book so you could score a full-page ad in the front of your section with little-to-no transparency about how the ad performed.

I’ve got to say I am excited about this Death Star Borg approach Google seems to be taking towards solving the how-to-get-SMBs-online. It will have more than its share of critics. It will probably screw things up royally. It will certainly piss off a ton of local marketers, but I am hoping when it is unveiled, we all do a collective “whoa, that’s insanely ambitious” (and hopefully not in a Google-Wave-way).

Note to Andy Steur – you gonna let them get away with Punchd bro?

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8 Response Comments

  • James Svoboda  June 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I gave you a +1 for the white walkers pic:)

  • Andrew Shotland  June 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    The alternative was “Google Business Builder To Visit The SMB House of the Undying”

  • James Svoboda  June 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    🙂 A good alternate option.

  • Tyler Herrick  June 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Your Google product-lineup picture is too small, should replace it with the larger version from WSJ.

  • Justin Sous  June 5, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I think Mike hit the nail right on the head. It’s important that these tools work well (as bug-free as possible) right out of the gate. Places has been plagued by bugs and hasn’t been given the attention it requires, so hopefully this is Google “turning over a new leaf”. Oh, and it would be nice if this new Local/Dashboard/RollUp benefits service businesses as much as the other verticals 🙂

  • Mark Bossert  June 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I think this is more of a Borg rather than Death Star strategy – “Resistance is futile. You will service … Us.”

  • Andrew Shotland  June 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    +Mark definitely need to install the +1 button on my comments. Right you are.