Google My Business API Allows Enterprises To Make Real-Time Location Data Changes
Yext announces roll out across 100,000 customer locations.
On the surface, business location management is a solved problem. Behind the scenes, it has been anything but. Google and partners are hoping to change that for enterprise customers via the Google My Business API.
This morning, Yext announced that it has rolled out Google My Business API integration across its client base. The company said that more than 200 of its customers representing approximately 100,000 business locations are now being managed via the API “across Google Search, Maps, and ads.” Yext is positioning the API integration as a part of its PowerListings Network.
Yext competitor SIM Partners earlier announced integration of the API. Yext argues it’s the “first to market at scale.” However, any entity that qualifies can potentially use the API to manage location data for multi-location enterprises.
The API permits potential real-time data changes, such as weather-related store closings or special holiday hours. While the changes can be pushed live in real time, Google has control over when they’re actually published.
Google explained in a blog post in December that the API could be used to:
- Create business locations with information such as name, address, phone number, category, business hours.
- Manage special hours.
- Mark a business location as permanently closed.
- Manage business photos.
- List, invite and remove managers on locations and business accounts.
- Read listing state to identify Google updated, duplicate and suspended locations.
- Search/filter locations by name, category and label.
- Set the service area for a business either by specifying a point and radius or Place IDs.
The use cases for enterprise location data and digital (especially mobile) advertising are significant. For Google, the API helps to improve the user experience for consumers and mobile users in particular.
Location data accuracy has become more critical than ever for both consumers and businesses in an era of ubiquitous smartphones, navigation and “near-me” searches. Apple has also implemented a multi-location data management program with a partner network for Apple Maps.
Several years ago, I made the false assumption that once location data was verified, it was done. But the ingestion of numerous data sources by Google and the regular rebuilding of the search index made it an ongoing challenge for the entire ecosystem, including Google.
In enterprises, location data management is often a major issue, with information decentralized among several groups and no single definitive source for that information. For this reason, location data management often needs to be outsourced to a third party. The Google API improves that process for enterprises operating at scale (e.g., Subway, Home Depot).
Yext pointed out that now, instead of worrying about simply correcting problems and errors, the Google My Business API enables enterprises to think about their data as a marketing asset. They can start “playing offense” with data, rather than just defense.