HAPPY HOUR! Such a fun time. Nice times. Fun little booze and wine with nice appetizer at a reduced price right after work. Sweet and innocent. But apparently EVERY single…with…out….exception…..every single category collection across the “profile universe” – from Yelp to Google, from Yahoo to Bing, from YellowPages to InfoUSA…not ONE of them allows you to input the simple, almighty, fun, innocent, OBVIOUSLY people are searching for it and we should have it as a category nice little puppy dog that just wants love from everyone: Happy Hour. But apparently, everyone in the category universe is allergic to this possibility. Maybe it’s the word “happy” associated with the concept of time, hour! I have no idea. But the latest and greatest in category selection – Google+ – even they have an allergen to this concept. No Happy Hour! Sorry. And Happy Hour results on Google…even those are a little off. They want to be a part of the in crowd with local results and all of that, but no…it just looks a little schleppy (not a word), a little left handed, a bit adopted and organic result-like and random and mish-mash and kind of like a search thrown together, caught off guard, not quite sure you were going to knock at the door.
And here’s the thing: It gets a TON of results, at least RELATIVE to other searches. In Seattle as of tonight: 14,800 (blended). Not bad for a step-search.
There are a few things annoying me with Google + and Google in general. Below is a screen shot of a hopefully well disguised client, who upon review after the transfer from Google “Places” to Google+ is showing the below link on their Google + page: Is this your business? Manage this page
This indicates to my clients and to me that in fact the page is not already claimed or being managed. Annoying. When you log in to your account, which in itself is a bit of a maze to figure out (log in, search Google for “Google local” and basically finagle your way through the back door) you’ll see that in fact after you get to the page and you click “manage this page” that it takes you directly to your local business center where your listing is in fact being shown as a well managed and very claimed business listing!
It seems things are getting more complicated and more weird over at Google than they were in years past. In years past, if your page was claimed, it indicated that in fact “this business page has been claimed” or some such language. It was evident to anyone seeing the page that it was claimed. If it wasn’t claimed, that was indicated by a mention consistent with the above stating: ”Own this business? manage this page”.
Why so complicated Google?
If you get a phone call from (618) 704-2766, beware. A modified recording answers and says if you’d like to confirm your Google 411 listing, please press 1. I did and a rather – how do you put it – less than crisp and professional voice on the other end started requesting information about me to verify a listing. This was a nice person – not saying he wasn’t nice – just a little less than forthcoming and clear about what the call was about.
Do not give information to people who randomly call requesting information about your business. Google does not make a practice of calling to confirm information about your business. There is more information about Google 411 calls here. Worst case scenario: you will be scammed of your information and talked into bogus SEO or online services.
You need to pay attention! Google is. They just re-assigned Marissa Mayer, who used to lead the ‘search’ group at Google i.e 98% of Google’s revenue. Was this a demotion? Some speculate yes, others speculate that in fact local search is on Google’s radar as ‘thee’ next big thing, along with ‘mobile’. Which is like saying “sauce and cheese” are becoming really big…and so is ‘crust’. It’s gonna be bigger than pizza! It’ll take a lot of innovation to intelligently put together all the moving pieces of location based local search (think Foursquare & Gowalla), Twitter, Facebook, check in’s, “Groupons”, Yelp, user reviews, more search, social media, make your head spin.com, etc. And with more and more of this ‘local’ stuff involving not only search and mobile, you – the small business owner – should really get on the ball and start managing and paying attention to this. It’ll pay dividends in the future, if not now!