Earlier this week Google announced their new agency dashboard for Google My Business. This allows an agency to manage thousands of businesses in one place, removing earlier limits on the number of locations you can manage with one account. It is also supposed to add functionality to make work easier when managing a large number of businesses, like location groups, easier user management, etc.
Benefits Those With Thousands of GMB Locations
I have to say that as an agency that works with many independent smaller businesses, rather than large chains with hundreds of locations, it hasn’t shown to be overly different or helpful to me. It did allow me to consolidate listings into one place that had scattered over a few different accounts over the years, but only if you are the owner of the listing. I should warn people getting started that if you are just a manager of the listing, it doesn’t appear that you can move the listing over to the agency dashboard, forcing you to either go back to the business owner and explain that you need your rights changed, or continue to bounce back and forth between accounts.
Some Inefficient Logistics with GMB Dashboard Setup
I should also warn smaller agencies that to set up the agency dashboard you need to use an account that currently does not control or manage any GMB listings. If you are a small business yourself, without lots of employee accounts, this may lead to creating more email addresses just for the sake of being your agency dashboard. On top of that, once you create the agency dashboard, you need yet another account to be associated with it. This account also cannot manage or own any GMB’s currently, so again it likely has to be a brand new account. Lots of new accounts to get a very similar user experience as you had before. The transfer is fairly easy to bring locations over to your new dashboard in one shot. You can bring entire location groups over, so I created a group for all of my listings, and then invited the agency to own the whole group. You have to invite the agency by using the agency ID, which is located in the little settings area of your agency dashboard once you have it set up.
Better Support for GMB Issues?
I’m hoping that there will be a little better support associated with the agency dashboard as you are officially signing in with them as an agency and have several locations. You would think they want good data. For a while, as a certified partner with Google, I was getting fairly solid support for GMB issues, but that seems to have gone away to the point that they don’t even respond to requests at times. Hopefully, that will change here, and I have a few new clients with issues that we can test out.
I would say since there is no cost associated with it, unless it costs you money to create new email accounts, it is probably worthwhile to go through the administrative headache of getting “ownership” of all of your locations and getting them in one spot, but prepare yourself for some time dealing with some of these issues when you sit down to get yourself set up with the agency dashboard. Good luck!