Google this week hosted a series of Help Desk Hangout On Air, covering various of its products and features.
First, this Help Desk covers the latest update on the new look and feel for Google Places, and recently launchedGoogle+ Local on May 31st. In the video, Local experts Dasha and Jade walkthrough the redesign, what's coming next and more.
You can watch the video and read the questions below:
What does this change mean for how business owners add and edit their listings? Do business owners need to have a Google+ profile?
It's business as usual on this front. Verified business owners can edit the listings (now local Google+ pages) through the Google Places for Business dashboard, as always. Business owners just now looking to get verified can go through the process by clicking on the Manage this page button under Is this your business? header on the right of the page. Right now, business owners do not need to have Google+ profiles to verify and edit local Google+ pages.
Will Google+ Local pages and existing Google+ pages be merged?Yes! If you're a business owner that's got both the local Google+ page (formerly Google Places listing) and a Google+ page that you made in Google+ separately, the current recommendation is to continue managing each separately. The plan is to merge them, so business owners have just one page to manage.
Can I attach a YouTube channel to my page?
No, but this is a piece of feedback we've heard often and are actively discussing. Eventually, you'll be able to add videos directly to your "Videos" tab and post YouTube clips to your page's stream, but that will only be available once Google+ Local pages are merged with existing pages and given the social functionality described above.
In this second Hangout, hosted last week, Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management told the story of how Google Docs, Google Drive and cloud collaboration came to be.
"What was once an experiment to bring desktop software to the web is now a collaboration and productivity platform used by millions of people in their personal lives and at businesses, universities, non-profits and government agencies around the world," posted Google.
And, Jeff Harris, Google Docs Product Manager demoed some Google Drive features like shared folders and Google documents features like the research pane and contextual spell check, showing how the power of the web is used in Google Apps.
Finally, in this third Hangout, Google's Andy Miller's interview Rob Roy of Time Warner Cable and Cass Baker of Leapfrog Online about the smartphone adoption and building a mobile-optimized consumer experience.
As smartphone adoption continues to rapidly increase, consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to order phone and internet services. Not having internet in their new apartment is no obstacle for today's smartphone users.
"Time Warner Cable recognized the opportunity to innovate through mobile, and implemented a mobile strategy in late 2011 together with digital partners Google and Leapfrog Online with stunning results":
- "Approximately 50% of Time Warner Cable's consumers sought to complete an order for voice, video and data on a smartphone when given the opportunity
- Approximately 3% of overall digital traffic has been mobile
- Over 10% of total digital sales are driven by mobile with growth of 20% month-over-month
- 30% reduction in cost per acquisition and a 3x increase in conversion rate as compared to desktop, despite continued strong desktop numbers," per highlights from the case study.