Is Google My Business Considering Premium Paid Subscription Plans?
It looks as though some big changes could be coming to Google My Business. If you’re not familiar, the service allows business owners to “claim” their listings on the search engine, helping to ensure that hours of operation, location, and more are correct. Google has traditionally made this offering free as having the more accurate information made Google’s listings more valuable to searchers. However a recent survey sent to some clients suggests that Google may be looking to monetize the offering by charging a subscription fee.
As Search Engine Land reports, a survey by Google inquired about potential pricing options for their Google My Business service. In addition to laying out some price points, the survey also asked users which of several different feature packages they’d prefer. News of the study was first shared by Sean Bucher on Twitter, who later included a link to the survey for others to see.
Throughout the survey in question, Google My Business proposes several potential features to solicit user feedback. These include the ability to get leads from competitor profiles, promote your “Book” button, add video to your business profile, and many more. After users select which options intrigue them the most, they’re presented with a choice between various package options. The prices for these plans depend on what you’ve selected but reportedly some users have seen packages start at $20 a month while others have seen prices go as high as $75 a month.
One thing that’s not exactly clear is whether Google would still offer a free Google My Business plan and then upsell premium features. That said, if any of the things hinted at in the survey were to come to fruition, that does seem like the most likely scenario. In fact Andrew from Optimisey notes that one part of the survey splits “Facebook page (free)” from “Facebook paid advertising,” which might give a tad of insight into how Google might position a play into paid.
Obviously, even without being officially announced, the idea of Google charging for Google My Business is proving controversial — with many speaking out against such a move. Additionally there are those who have taken issue with features such as “remove ads from your business profile” that come across as though Google intends to monetize the space regardless of whether you’re the one paying or one of your competitors is. Because of this small business owners may soon face another advertising expense as they fight to be seen online.