Google Places Dashboard Gets an Upgrade

Posted by on April 10, 2013

Google Places Dashboard Gets an Upgrade
The interface businesses use to manage the information that appears on Google search results pages, known as the Google Places Dashboard, is getting a much-needed update from the company. Local business owners have been faced with bugs and broken pages since the switch from Google Places to Google Local last May and the problems encountered were such that one blogger called Local a “train wreck”, citing inconsistencies in function and a lack of clear directions for business owners. But Google is trying to change all that with a slew of new features and updates, starting with a redesign of the existing interface to address problems with usability.

1. New Design

The interface is set to receive a massive redesign that will make it more visually consistent with other Google services, such as Plus. Navigation options will be placed in the upper left hand corner, with separate tabs for managing listing information and a Google+ page. Currently there is no separate tab for analytics and statistical data, and the company is expected to either remove analytical data from the dashboard altogether, or integrate it into the existing tabs.

2. Greater Integration with Google Services

A new tab will be added to allow businesses to manage their Google+ Local page straight from this new dashboard. From here they’ll be able to share content such as photos, videos, and articles, and they’ll be able to update basic information like addresses and phone numbers, and those changes will be reflected across all relevant Google services.

3. Improved Performance

One of the bigger problems with the current iteration of the dashboard is that small updates take a long time to push through the system, and have a tendency to fail. The company has promised to address this problem head-on, stating that all updates to business information made with the new interface will be applied across all services within 48 hours.

These new features will be rolled out slowly, starting at 1 PM PST on April 2. They will first be pushed to US users, followed by international users in the 136 countries that have access to Google Places. The updates are targeted at single-location businesses with storefronts, with limited provisions for multi-location businesses, and existing accounts will be automatically redirected to the new interface when the change goes live.