To give you a jump start on the new year, we asked industry experts about their predictions for the future of location, marketing, and technology in 2017. We'll be posting their responses over the next month here on the Yext blog. Follow us on Twitter @Yext for new posts, and tweet at us with your own predictions.
By Joy Hawkins
Google My Business Top Contributor, Imprezzio Marketing
Well, it looks like my 2016 prediction has partially come true. Google did remove the plus.google.com URLs for unverified pages in Google My Business but they still have yet to remove them for verified listings. We did see them remove most of the local aspects of a business listing from Google Plus – like the address, so I do believe this is still coming in the future.
As far as paid features, we're starting to see this with the advanced verification beta that Google is doing in San Diego. I would predict this will expand quickly to other cities in 2017.
I also would predict that they end up rolling out the posting-to-search beta to all businesses in 2017.
Thirdly, I predict that with the closing down of MapMaker, Google will start pushing the Local Guides program even more than now, and add more incentives and levels that people can achieve.
Google did come up with a Band-Aid solution for the permanently closed issue last year like I predicted but it's still not very commonly known and very manual so I would hope that is something Google will continue to work on.
This post is part of a series of 2017 predictions from industry experts.