To be clear from the start: no one really knows what Google is going to do unless Google comes right out and says what they are doing or until a change is rolled out and the marketing community is sent into a frenzied adjustment period. The news that broke this week was somewhere in between.

What Google Might Do with Google My Business

The author of a Search Engine Land article shared an email from Google that another user shared on Twitter where Google asked for input about how he would feel if Google My Business introduced a pay-to-play model for their service. The proposed shift seemed to offer added visibility and features for a monthly fee, not unlike Yelp’s Enhanced Listing service.

Some of the features that were featured in the screenshots of the survey were:

  • Adding video to your Business Profile
  • Certified background check
  • Adding offers
  • Google guarantee
  • Verified reviews
  • Featured reviews
  • Removing ads from your Business Profile
  • Promoting your “Book” button

The proposed fee ranges featured in the article were from $25-$60 per month.

What Does This Mean For Dentists?

We simply need to stay on top of Google developments as we always do. But, if Google were to adopt this, it would further reduce the free, organic exposure that is already dwindling in availability- and not just availability but effectiveness. As organic listings are pushed further and further down the page, the value of that organic visibility goes down as well. If Google moves forward with this, we’ll of course be early adopters and will maximize all the relevant opportunities as this approach means more opportunities to engage with prospective patients.