Google is sending out a survey to some local businesses asking if they would be willing to pay a monthly fee in exchange for Google My Business listing services. Sean Bucher posted the survey on Twitter and Andrew expanded on it on his blog – while I was offline.
Here is a screen shot of the email with the survey Sean received:
— x-Sean Bucher (@spbucher) April 25, 2019
The survey can be accessed over here and it basically goes through questions about charging a monthly fee in exchange for Google My Business features. Here are some screen shots from the survey:
Here are some of the features Google can offer:
Google then offered multiple package options with multiple pricing options, asking local businesses how much they would pay if anything.
Here is a screen shot of one of the package options, but they showed many:
Here is one of the pricing models, but they showed many variations to choose from:
Just to be clear – this is a survey – nothing is changing today. Google may look at this feedback and decide not to do anything around charging for Google My Business services.
Google already monetizing local with local ads and other local advertising options. Charging this way, doesn’t seem very Google-like – but who knows, Google has changed a lot over the years.
Here is the some of chatter from the industry:
I’m not surprised by this. I’m not happy, but I’m not surprised, either.
Interesting business model. Make billions of people dependent on your services. Expand to a trillion dollar international corporation with a virtual monopoly. Quietly strangle your “do no evil” motto in its sleep. Then start charging people money to meet your goal of becoming richer and more powerful than most nations or the Vatican.
It’s the same business model used by drug dealers.
How this went down in my head:
Google 2016-2018 – “everything is local, we should sell the micromoment.”
Google 2018-2019 – “everything is local, and we ain’t making Jack on maps. Any ideas?”
— x-Sean Bucher (@spbucher) April 26, 2019
Forum discussion at Twitter and Local Search Forums.