1. What do ‘Manage this listing’ and the new role of ‘Site Manager’ mean?
A new role has recently been introduced that grants Internet users certain limited rights to one of the Google Business Profile listings belonging to a network of points of sale; these are known as ‘Site Managers’.
This feature makes a huge difference because it allows users to claim listings that already have an owner without their approval
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This role is enabled for your network if you see the ‘Manage this listing’ option on your listings. Please note that this feature is only enabled for certain retailers with over 10 points of sale and that Google has not published the eligibility criteria at this stage!
2. What rights do ‘Site Managers’ have?
The Site Manager is a new role that complements the two main Google Business Profile roles, namely Owner and Administrator. The Site Manager has more limited rights that enable them to do the following:
Create Google posts to promote events or publish special offers (view article on this topic)
Update the establishment’s opening hours, address and phone number
Reply to reviews
3. Can I remove this feature from my network’s Google Business Profile listings?
Some networks do not want local point-of-sale managers to start changing information and replying to reviews themselves. However, although this new feature does not reflect the strategies adopted by certain retailers, it does help to significantly improve local data!
Google does not, therefore, allow retailers to remove this feature, according to their teams in the United States: “unfortunately at this time, businesses cannot opt out of having this link”
“We have been running a beta for site managers over the past few months and have found that the overwhelming majority of site manager edits are accurate and contribute helpful local content to the business profile. With data accuracy as our primary goal, we will only disable site manager sign ups for profiles that have been maliciously edited with spammy or abusive content”
4. How do I become a ‘Site Manager’?
To become a Site Manager, simply click on the ‘Manage this listing’ link while logged in to a standard Gmail address for the network in question (e.g. ending in boulanger.fr) and follow the steps. If you are not signed in to an address that has been verified by Google, you will immediately be redirected to a page asking you to switch accounts.
If you are signed in to an account corresponding to the retailer in question, you can then become a Site Manager by verifying your identity via one of the following methods:
· Code sent to the phone number provided for the point of sale in question (real-time call)
· Code sent by email to the owner of the retailer’s account
· Code sent by email to an address ending in the corresponding site address (in the case of the example below, @bigfernand.com)
Please note that these three methods are rarely all available and that their availability will depend on various criteria. For example, if the number provided is the same for all of a retailer’s points of sale, verification by phone will not be available.
Please also note that these methods are much simpler than the methods for claiming a listing, which involves either the sending of a code by post or submitting a relatively complex application to Google's internal teams. It is important to distinguish between claiming a listing that does not have an Owner and submitting a management request for a listing that already has an Owner.
5. How might this be problematic for your network?
The issue this new feature raises is one of data management and truthful sources. Indeed, as with all company data, point-of-sale data must be complete, accurate, structured, updated and publicised
With this in mind, it is important to determine the following:
A truthful source to avoid duplicate entries
Updating processes and methods
Who will maintain the data
French companies have had a tendency, for some years now, to set up internal interfaces that allow store managers to update their opening hours, news, photos and phone numbers in the central database. This database then automatically feeds into external databases such as mobile apps, GPSs (Waze, TomTom, Here or Apple Maps) and various other sites such as Facebook and Google Business Profile via APIs through solutions like Partoo.
By taking ownership of the corresponding Google and Facebook listings, retailers become responsible for controlling data, and more importantly the consistency thereof (e.g. same opening hours on FB, Google and the website itself), from central office. By allowing Google Business Profile data to be managed at local level, i.e. without verification from a central office, the ‘Site Manager’ role challenges this data verification system.
If they do not receive proper training, some point-of-sale managers will tend to update their information directly on Google Business Profile, which will have three negative consequences:
On the one hand, the changes made will potentially be overwritten by data that comes from central office, and any updates made at local level will not be taken into account
On the other hand, local points of sale will be less likely to update their data in the retailer’s framework, knowing that the data displayed in Google is up to date
If the central database is not linked to Google and other sites, this will result in inconsistent data being displayed across the various audience portals, with a negative impact on both SEO and customer satisfaction
This new Google feature will undoubtedly lead to retailers rethinking their data patterns and granting greater access to local managers to involve them in the company’s digital transformation.
When it comes to this digital transition, we at Partoo provide support at both the central and local levels in terms of both point-of-sale data and e-reputation. Please do not hesitate to contact us using the chat feature to the bottom right of your screen should you experience any issues relating to such matters and we will be happy to help you!