Google has started sending out surveys to some local businesses to see if they’d be willing to pay for features on Google My Business that they’re currently receiving for free. Google My Business (GMB) is a free service from Google that allows local businesses to change and update their information. Acquiring a listing in GMB has been free since its introduction, and is an important step to being included in local results.
The survey asked users how much they would be willing to pay each month for many services already included, with a range from $10 to over $70 per month.
Business owners will likely need to decide if GMB is something they’d be willing to pay for. We believe some subscription model on this service is inevitable; if not now, then later as Google runs out of room to sustain high levels of revenue growth. This would mark a huge change in how the company has typically monetized the search engine.
Some new features are being reviewed for a possible subscription model including:
- Automated review response
- Google customer support
- Online booking
- Verified licenses
- Featured reviews
- Quotes (instant and by request)
- Background check
- Google guarantee
- Removing ads from your GMB profile
- Allowing you to include a video on the GMB profile
- Source leads from competitor profiles
- Search result placement
- Automated responses for reviews and messages
- Call reports and recording
- Promoted map pin
- Verified reviews
- Booking promotion
- Verified bookings
As stated in yesterday’s article, Google enjoys higher profit margins on owned and operated properties and is under pressure from Wall Street to restart revenue growth.