The Google My Business API is almost finished


From April 30, 2022, the Google My Business API will change its name. It will be the Google Business Profile API. Businesses must adapt to their size and the number of sites they manage.

Google My Business API users still have two months to prepare: As of April 30, the API will be permanently replaced by the Google Business Profile API and therefore, warns Google, “existing endpoints will be abandoned and will eventually disappear .” Main change: only multi-site companies will be able to continue working on the API. Indeed, Google advertises “evolving to primarily support large businesses with multiple sites”.

For small businesses, there will simply be no APIs. To use the Google service, they must now connect by searching Google for the name of their business. Or type “my company” while connected into the search engine and go to their profile. These businesses will also be able to reach their profile directly from the Google Maps application.

The challenge for companies to properly manage API changes is significant. According to a study by customer opinion leader Custplace, searches referring to a local point of sale increased by more than 900% between early 2020 and mid-2021. Almost half of the queries on Google are also related to local information, according to the study, carried out from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 at more than 50,000 points of sale, of which 90% are part of a large network. .

However, to be well positioned on local queries, the management of Google My Business listings is very important. These listings are one of the most important local SEO factors, whether in organic search or for the local package.

Finish schedule

In this context, how do you make this API change a success for businesses? Barry Schwartz, editor of Search Engine Land, distinguishes between two cases. “Most businesses, I would say 99%, do not use this API. This change will not affect. It will only affect those who use the old Google My Business API. Those who use it through third-party software or their own software must be aware of API changes and adapt accordingly.”

For this, Google provides a Google My Business API “opt-out plan”. The Mountain View company page shows the migration dates from the legacy resource to the API replacement resource.

Google explains, “The term ‘discontinued’ means that the API version continues to work as intended, but may no longer be updated or fixed. In addition, support is limited. The term ‘disappearing’ indicates that the API version is retired and not longer available.” And to clarify: “We encourage you to migrate to the latest version as soon as possible after its launch.”

New resources

The new resources are REST resources. In fact, the Google Business Profile API is a REST API. This has the specificity of using intermediates and helps developers manipulate data. REST works with url and http requests like Get, Post, Put… The server is queried by a URL suggested by the creator of the API.

After the request, the computer receives data in JSON, in the case of the Google Business Profile API. This language is no longer used only for prioritization, as is the case with the HTML structuring language, but also for giving meaning to the content.

For convenience, Google’s REST resources allow storing objects by category and putting a label on them. For example, they allow you to specify the type of account the person has: either a personal or user account or a professional account.

For example, the replacement resource “Account Locations” offers “Service Item” as new. “Service item” is a message describing a single service item. It is used to describe the type of service provided by the business. For example, the haircut can be a service.

These news will a priori enable a finer approach. According to Mike Blumenthal, local search SEO specialist at Near Media, “it helps meet the more complex needs of multi-site businesses.” For him, the Mountain View company is “in the process of moving from a centralized and gigantic Google My Business API to a multitude of small APIs with very specific functions.”

If Google seeks to optimize the exposure of companies with the Google Business Profile, this API change nevertheless raises questions about the risk of a two-speed situation that this risks bringing between companies. Between them, multisite, administration of an API and take advantage of all its power. And on the other hand, small businesses with only one website, which will necessarily have a much more “manual” approach to the tool, perhaps less efficient.

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