Google plans to have its newest small-business service--which at one point it was calling "Business Builder"--up and running as early as July, said a person familiar with the matter, the WSJ reports.
Acording to the report, Google plans to combine a number of its products (internally developed and acquired) into a suite of tools and services aimed at small business marketers. "The project combines several products and services aimed at small businesses under a single banner. It is based on a mix of internally developed software and recently acquired technologies that the company hopes eventually will bring in billions of dollars a year in new revenue," WSJ writes.
In the past some of these "solutions" have been presented together. Check the following year-old screenshot of Boost, the product that later became "AdWords Express."
Google would, however, prefer to have as many direct relationships with local/SMB advertisers as it can. Yet the challenge for Google continues to be two-fold: marketing products and sales.
With the above mix that the WSJ describes, Google gets a bit closer to an SMB-friendly product suite. However it's still missing a reputation tracking capability (other than Google Alerts) and a listings syndication component (think Yext, UBL, SinglePlatform).
The second and probably more challenging issue is sales and customer service. The cliche is that "local is sold not bought."
- Google+ Local pages
- AdWords Express
- Google Offers
- Delivery (a new service that would enable stores to deliver products to homes)
- TalkBin (an SMS-based customer feedback tool; so far doesn't enable review solicitation)
- Google Wallet (combination of online payment and smartphone-enabled payment at a POS)
- Punchd (in-store loyalty program)
In other Google news,
Google has acquired "KikScore," based out of Washington, D.C. and Denver, is a trust seal provider. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
KikScore co-founder, Rajeev Malik said that Google has acquired their technology and "certain assets."
As of June 28, KikScore announced, their service will no longer be available to their 1,700+ customers. They recommend that customers "check out the Google Trusted Store product as an alternative to the KikScore service."
"There is still great work to be done for small businesses and that is why we are so excited that an industry leader will be able to build off of the technology, platform and IP that we spent our blood, sweat and tears building, developing and launching," wrote Malik.
"… a patent-pending online reputation score and interactive report card for small businesses around the world. KikScore enables online small businesses to take information and reputational data about themselves, their track record of responsibility and dependability and show their website visitors that their business can be trusted. Small businesses do this by placing the interactive KikScore Confidence Badge, real-time merchant report card and comment platform on their website so they can close more leads and sell more."
Google also today, acuqiring Meebo, a consumer internet company focused on driving user engagement across the web. Meebo in a blog post confirmed the acquisition stating:
"We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!
For more than seven years we've been helping publishers find deeper relationships with their users and to make their sites more social and engaging. Together with Google, we're super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.
We've had a blast building Meebo so far and we’re really excited to start the next leg of our journey.
Thank you all for coming along for the ride!