Google Changes Things Too!

How does your business show up on Google Maps?

Continued from Part 1 & Part 2 – Why Does Facebook Change Things So Often?

3. Changes in layout, file sharing and privacy settings force interactions and defacto endorsements from logged in facebook user that visit websites when rearranged options or new options are switched “enabled” by default.

This creates privacy concerns and some debate the ethics of facebook, for example, using your online identity to promote an advertisers product because you mention it in a post. This isn’t a whole lot worse than sewing a big company brand on the jean pocket or store logos on t-shirts, in my opinion. The goal though is to create more interaction between users and make them feel they are more connected, more popular and more “in the know”… we like these feelings – a lot. So if a little trickery or frequent feature switches move us through the Social Network maze and keep us there a little longer – they will continue to use ever more pungent and delicious cheese. Facebook Privacy: 10 Settings Every User Needs to Know

Google recently assimilated data about pretty much all business in the US and Canada that had an online phone listing or yellow pages type listing and in December of 2010 rolled out “Google Places” with 49 MILLION businesses having a FREE business page that they could claim… this is something that on 4%-5% of businesses even know about yet! Their listing is there and Google is letting people know, but it’s a slow process.How does your business show up on Google Maps?

• Benefit? I personally enjoy the social connections and the outstanding uptime and ability to transfer information, ideas and friendship on several Social Networks. I am doing great helping local businesses use that free Google Places page as a springboard for more marketing success and for many businesses who don’t have a website this will bring them into the game.
• Caveat? I have someone in my life who is a stalker and having my personal information shared via my online friends pages is a concern, even if I can personally block them, they can still get access in a roundabout way. On the business side, there are businesses who have incorrect contact information on these free pages and most of them do not know that Google also switched their search pages to feature the ones who claim the Places page higher than those who have invested time and money into SEO optimization! Fixable, but unannounced and shocking to many…. we call it the “Little Red Dot” problem. (Other, less positive people use some more ‘colorful’ language when they find out what happened!)

Is there a way to conclude this? Probably not – Mark Zuckerberg, founder of facebook has been quoted as saying that it is something that will never be complete – it is continuously evolving. But don’t we continuously make new connections, learn and interact in our real-life Social Networks? It’s healthier for us, our families, our relationships and our companies if we do!

So use these tools as you feel comfortable using them, get help if you need it, don’t take it too seriously This medium is one of constant change…it is also one that goes on forever and you can’t take things back once they are “out there” – be kind to yourself and others.

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