Ep 160: GBP Chat is Dead, Consumers Frustrated with Search too, Local Takeaways from the API Leak

Google Business Profile Chat is dead, long live GBP with WhatsApp, Scorpion survey highlights growing consumer frustrations with Google Search, 3 Local takeaways from the Google API leak.

Ep 160: GBP Chat is Dead, Consumers Frustrated with Search too, Local Takeaways from the API Leak

Part 1 starts 00:13 - GBP Chat is Dead, Long Live WhatsApp

Google nuked both Google Business Profile Chat AND Google Business Messaging last week in a typical show of disregard for the product and the businesses supporting it. This decision comes amid concerns over increasing spam within the GBP chat service, which initially launched in 2017 with high hopes. Despite a significant initial investment, Google's inconsistent product strategy led to its downfall.

Interestingly, Google is now introducing WhatsApp and SMS messaging integration to GBP profiles, suggesting an attempt to fill the void left by the discontinued services. This move highlights Google's long-standing struggle with a coherent messaging strategy, characterized by the launch and subsequent abandonment of numerous messaging apps over the years.

The discussion underscores the broader issue of Google's bottom up product development techniques and indecisive top-down management style, which often leaves strategic innovative projects without sustained support. Smaller SAAS businesses that invested heavily in integrating with Google's messaging API, like Switchbird and Leadferno, faced significant difficulties in adopting the Business Messaging API and expended considerable resources in doing so. Google's structural inefficiencies hinder its ability to dominate key markets but also damage the greater ecosystem that attempts to integrate with their products. 

Segment Reference Articles 

When one door closes, another opens

Changes to Google Business Profile chat

Update on Google Business Messages 

A decade and a half of instability: The history of Google messaging apps

Part 2 starts 09:58 - Scorpion Survey Highlights Growing Frustrations with Google Search

In a recent survey by marketing firm Scorpion, consumers have voiced increasing frustrations with Google search results. The survey revealed that users are spending more time sifting through results than five years ago. Top complaints include the need to refine queries repeatedly, excessive scrolling, and visiting multiple websites to find desired information. This aligns with ongoing industry discussions about the declining quality of Google's search experience.

Tom Capper’s keynote at MozCon highlighted additional challenges for SEOs, including the difficulty of achieving visibility amidst aggressive monetization and AI-driven content. Google’s numerous proprietary modules in search results are making it harder for users to find straightforward information, adding to their dissatisfaction.

Segment Reference Articles: 

Survey: 54% of people look through more search results vs. 5 years ago

SEO In Crisis? Moz Search Scientist Warns Of Challenges Ahead

Part 3 starts 22:20 - 3 Local Takeaways from the Google API Leak

A recently leaked GitHub repository revealed extensive insights into Google's algorithm, highlighting 14,000 attributes and numerous modules that influence search results. This leak, analyzed by Rand Fishkin and Mike King, suggests that Google tracks a wide array of data points from websites, Google Maps features, and YouTube videos to entities.

The significance of 'nav boost' and the 'CRaPS' click-through algorithm, which impact page rankings based on user interactions. Additionally, Google tracks location relevance at a page level, encouraging businesses to create localized content silos for better search performance.

The leak underscores the importance of linking high-traffic pages to target pages and creating localized versions of national content to improve site architecture. It also suggests that local mentions in reputable publications can boost a business's online presence.

Listen in for actionable insights for businesses aiming to optimize their local SEO efforts.

Segment Reference Articles:

Local Search Implications of the Google API Leak

Part 4 starts 36:34 - A Tribute to John Heaston. R.I.P. to a great human being

John Heaston - founder, publisher, and visionary leader of The Reader and El Perico, died on May 31, 2024. He was a prince among humans and an early advocate for inclusive watchdog journalism and ethical digital marketing.  John, you will be missed. 

Segment Reference Articles:

Remembering John Heaston: A Champion of Inclusive Journalism and Community Media