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Google Maps is no longer #flatearth

Go to Google Maps and zoom out. Halfway out, the map’s perspective changes from a traditional flat map view to an interactive globe. Zoom all the way out and the Earth is presented as a globe with landmasses of the appropriate size. Greenland is no longer the size of Africa and all is right with the world. On flat maps, it’s impossible to represent land mass size on a relative scale. Objects in the north and south become distorted as the flat map compensates for the flattening of the globe. This is most evident in the commonly used Mercator projections that properly represents the size of land around the equator but super-sizes land in the Arctic and Antarctic. Now, when Google Maps is used on Desktop, users will see the appropriate size of land masses. The update is great but I have yet to find the giant ice wall that’s preventing all of life from sliding off the side of the flat earth and onto the back of the giant turtle we’re riding through the vast emptiness of space. With 3D Globe Mode on Google Maps desktop, Greenland’s projection is no longer the size of Africa. Just zoom all the way out at https://t.co/mIZTya01K3 pic.twitter.com/CIkkS7It8d — Google Maps (@googlemaps) August 2, 2018

Answer customer questions on Google

Planning a visit to a local business can raise questions ranging from “Does this restaurant provide high-chairs?” to “What accessibility accommodations does this B&B offer?” When looking for answers, 82% of people turn to search engines, but they often have a hard time finding accurate, up-to-date information.1 That’s why Google is bringing Questions and Answers to local business listings. As a business owner, you have the most reliable answers to your customers’ questions and we want to make it easy for you to receive and respond to those questions. That’s just what Questions and Answers lets you do. To start using it, just search for your business on your mobile phone and go to the Questions and Answers feature on your Google business listing. Questions and Answers offers new ways for you to engage with your customers: Add frequently asked questions to your listing so that mobile users who find your business on Google Search and Google Maps can easily get the answers to your customers’ most common questions. Answer questions from potential customers on Google Search and Google Maps on your mobile phone. If you have Google Maps on Android, we‘ll also send you a push notification when a new question has been asked about your business so you can post an answer instantly. Highlight top responses. Beyond FAQs and your own responses, customers are also able to answer each other’s questions. You can highlight the most helpful answers from your customer community by using the thumb to bump them up to the top of the list. If you’re not using Google My Business yet, sign up and start managing your free business listing on Google. Once you’ve verified your business, you’ll be ready to start posting and answering questions. To learn more, visit the Google Maps Help Center. Posted by Lisa Wang, Product Manager, Google Maps 1. Google. Google Consumer Barometer, 2017.

Make your business stand out on Google with Posts

With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information,1 your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business. Even when customers know exactly what they’re looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have. Posts appear on your Google business listing. Customers can tap to read the full post, and they can also share your post with their friends directly from Google. Posting on Google gives you new ways to engage with your customers: Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers. Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location. Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals. Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website. Seventy percent of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice.2 With Posts, you can share timely, relevant updates right on Google Search and Maps to help your business stand out to potential customers. And by including custom calls-to-action directly on your business listing, you can choose how to connect with your customers. “Posts definitely helped our business because a lot of people look us up through Google. When they do, they want to see the vibe of the place. Being able to post directly to Google allows them to see the reviews and get a feel for the shop all in one spot.” – Cut & Grind, London, UK “As a small business, we don’t have a ton of resources. We post with the intention of engaging new and existing customers, informing them of new therapists and services we offer as we expand our business. The…

This National Small Business Week, Build Your Online Skills with Lessons from the Pros

The web is helping small businesses grow. As the place where people turn to learn, discover, find, and buy things, it’s connecting customers to small businesses and small businesses to customers. Being online can have a big impact–in fact, businesses that are online grow 40 percent faster and are twice as likely to create new jobs than those that remain offline.1 We see the power of the web working for American small businesses. Millions of small businesses are found on Google Search and Maps every single day across the nation. With a little bit of elbow grease and the help of technology, we believe every business can grow online. So together with our partners, we’re continuing our mission to help make that happen. Through our Get Your Business Online initiative, we’re bringing together free resources and tools to help you this National Small Business Week and beyond. Learn from the pros through bite-sized lessons Build your online business and marketing skills with five-minute lessons from Primer, our free mobile app. To celebrate National Small Business Week, we’re happy to announce new lessons created by small business experts Anita Campbell, John Jantsch, Ramon Ray, and Rhonda Abrams. Each has created a special lesson from their decades of experience working with and coaching small businesses. We’re also excited to share new web-based lessons. Get your business online Be where your customers are. Get your free listing on Google Search and Maps.  Show pictures of your business, list your hours, and add your phone number so customers can just click to call you or get directions. Businesses with complete listings are considered twice as reputable.2 Use this handy tool to get started. Make sure your website works on mobile Did you know that more than half of all Google searches happen on mobile phones? Mobile shoppers want quick results–53 percent say they’ll wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site.3 How fast does your website load? Use the free Test My Site tool to see how well your site works on mobile. We’ll email you a personalized assessment with specific recommendations…

Updating Your Holiday Hours on Google? Easy as Pumpkin Pie.

Heather Mohorn, owner of Momo’s Tree House, adds special hours on Google to let last-minute shoppers know when her business is open. “The holiday hours feature makes it easy to communicate [changes in hours] to customers,” she says. “It reduces the number of phone calls we receive to ask whether we’re open, which is nice when we’re busy wrapping those last-minute gifts on Christmas Eve.” With Google My Business, you can update your business info on Google for free to ensure that your phone number, address, and hours of operation are correct so customers can find you this season (and beyond). To help you make the most of the season, we put together a holiday workshop filled with tips for using the web to connect with shoppers. Preview the section on updating your holiday hours above, or watch the entire workshop at gybo.com/livestream. For a list of step-by-step instructions on how to update your hours on Google My Business, visit our help center We hope this is one thing you can easily check off your holiday to-do list. Cheers,Emily Harris, on behalf of the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map team

Get Better Insights With Google My Business

Search engines have become the most popular way for people to find info about local businesses1 – and millions of business owners rely on Google My Business to reach new customers on Google Search and Maps. In fact, the average well-maintained Google My Business listing gets five times more views than listings which haven’t been claimed by their owners.2 Today we’re announcing some exciting changes to Google My Business, designed to let our users see where and how people are finding them on Google. Where are people seeing your listing?Now when you log into Google My Business, not only will you see the total number of views for your listing, you’ll also see a breakdown of how many are coming from Google Search vs. Maps. How are people finding you?Though some people search for you on Google by name, others search more generally for what you have to offer. (For example, “pizza restaurants in [your town].”) In fact, when researching a future purchase, 76% of people consider more than one business before making their final choice.3 Now you can see who visited your listing after searching for it directly, and who discovered your business while looking for a broader category. To better serve our users, we’re focusing these new insights for local listings on Google Search and Maps, and removing Google+ statistics from the dashboard. With deeper insights on how people are finding your business on Google, you can make sure your efforts to maintain and promote your business are paying off. Keep your listing up-to-date by adding photos, responding to reviews, and updating your hours so that users find helpful, relevant information when they’re looking for you directly. And, if you want to reach more customers who are searching for your business category, consider promoting your listing with AdWords Express. We hope these changes make your life a little simpler, and we’re excited to introduce even more insights into your customers’ behavior soon. To learn more, check out our help center. Happy Tracking! Posted by Tom Pritchard, Product Manager Google My Business 1. 82% of consumers use Search Engines…

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