Google is a blessing and a curse. You can find most anything with Google, except sometimes the one thing you are looking for, such as, an old news article. In setting up some Google+ accounts for small businesses hoping to show up on the local search 3-pack (more on that later), I noticed something alarming: you must opt out of letting Google use the pictures you post to your business page for Google’s own advertising.
Repeat: if you post images to promote your business on your Google My Business Google+ page, you might just be letting Google own those images for use in its own promotions. Still, you can opt out with the click of a button, if you follow these screen shots below.
The Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup are innocently suggested as “Some new features for your Google Account.” Check that out. It poses the question, “What changes if you turn on these new features?” Well, it gives you an opportunity to “review and control” how you interface within the Google-sphere and what is public, such as what videos you watch in YouTube. Say what? Remember, YouTube is owned by Google and there is a cross-over with those accounts.
Note: You may very well want the YouTube videos to show in conjunction with your Google+ business page if they were posted by your business. But, if they are videos of Fido, unclick that setting to keep your videos (what you watch and post) private. It is a lot to consider, but you can always create a periodic security check day. Mark you calendar for a recurring event that prompts you to recheck security settings on key platforms, apps and accounts, including Google everything. I even created a bookmark in a browser called “Google Everything” so I can keep track of all these accounts and logins. Good luck!
Google for Business and Search Results
It is important to pay attention to the Google presence of your business, especially if you aspire to be in the local search “3-pack,” or the top three search results that are boxed together at the top. Among Google’s next big things is a new option in Google Adwords called Extended Text Ads, which create two headlines and 80 characters of text. If you do this now, you may stand out, but in 2017 the old Adwords format is expected to go away and all the ads will be Extended Text.
Chrome, a Love-Hate Relationship
Another area in which I have a love-hate relationship with Google is in Chrome. I love that many social media, blog and design programs work best in the Chrome browser. I have hated the autofill function, which seems to diligently keep working even when I turned it off. I have multiple clients on Pinterest for Business, and ever time I go to log into Pinterest directly rather than from a scheduling platform, Google Chrome starts by autofilling my personal email, which I don’t even use on my personal Pinterest account. This has become maddening because I need to keep highlighting to delete and even when typing, Chrome autofill is racing to refill with the personal email address. I have gone into advance settings in Chrome to manage this to no avail. Although, I did find there a business address from about 10 years ago that I could not edit unless I went to Google Wallet, which I apparently used once in 2010. I deleted that info from Google Wallet, but only by giving my current address. Still, Chrome is autofilling my personal email on Pinterest, but no other websites. If you have the solution to this annoyance, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The moral of these stories is that like everything else in life and business, Google is constantly evolving and unless you are living under a rock, you will have to keep up with growth and changes in the digital ecosystem.
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