Hump day Headlines: Data privacy in D.C. and big Google Changes


By Art Unlimited.

Today we’re talking about some data privacy things that are happening within DC, and also some huge changes that Google has been implementing in the partnerships they’ve been making.

You can either watch the video or read the transcript below. Plan to join us live each Wednesday on Facebook.

Data Privacy Hits the USA

So, the first thing we’re going to talk about is data privacy. Here’s all about what’s happening on the hill.

So, you’ve probably been hearing about the changes that are happening in the European Union; the data that has been lost has been substantial. California came out and said that they’re going to be rolling out their own data privacy policy mid-2020. And now on Monday there was an article that came out where the government is saying that the Trump administration is going to be putting into effect some data privacy policies for the entire US.

So, this is going to mean that how you collect data is going to start to have to change. You’re going to have to put in place on your forms how this data is going to be used and disclose whether you can follow up with users. Those little bars at the bottom of the websites are going to be important, displaying where my data is going to be within your company. As a user, I’m going to have to know if and how I can be removed from your list.

So big stuff is really changing here in the United States. You’re not going to be immune much longer, so I recommend making the changes so you are compliant so you don’t lose data–Google Analytics–everything is going to be affected. I would definitely think that budgeting for it now is going to be totally helpful later on.

Especially– a lot of times, you guys, we don’t talk about the traditional aspect of marketing, but if you’re collecting anything from a drawing or you’re at a trade show getting contact information or phone numbers, this is a huge deal. And you don’t think about it. And your sales people might not think about it, but it’s going to affect you, especially in terms of if you’re going to be able to report things now. Because you could get in a lot of trouble, and California is fining people $750 a pop. So be looking at this, cuz it’s going to be really expensive really quick if you don’t have the right policies in place. It’s not IF, it’s WHEN now.

Google’s New Partnerships Affect GMB Leads

The second thing we wanted to talk about it is this huge change that we’ve been seeing within a lot of the different services industries. So, we’ve seen in the past that we can book an appointment with an auto mechanic or hairdresser and all that kind of stuff within the menus of services for different industries right from their Google My Business listing. Well, the construction industry, HVAC and roofing, and all these different businesses have this new thing that Google has partnered with,, to provide forms–unbeknownst to you!–on your Google listing.

It’s a little menu link that it literally says “your menu of services.” You click in there, and, first of all, it doesn’t have the proper services for most of them! Which is really scary, because someone could be calling about stuff that you don’t do! Second of all, half of the numbers aren’t working and they’re pushing to either some place that’s broken and hanging up on you or an answering machine! Or you’re filling out the form and it says, “Get a text quote from us.” I actually filled out the form today and it brought me to’s homeowner help to push me to service provider. And they said they were going to give me an estimate! So they’re contacting you as a business to say “Hey, this customer needs information.”

There are two companies involved in this, cuz there’s a company that makes the actual form too and they have a whole gimmick set up where they’re going to make you pay money to have an optimized menu, which is really concerned! And it is not cheap! It was like, 129 bucks a month. It was ridiculous!

So really be looking at your Google business listing, because if you have this on there, there’s, no way to take it off within your Google business listing. You have to call and ask them to remove it from your menu. We spent quite a bit of time digging around and looking at the desktop version of Google My Business, the mobile app version, and there’s no reference. It’s literally detective work to find out what’s happening behind the scenes.

We were talking about this earlier. Google has been rolling out a lot of changes, period. And so you really need to stay on top of your listing overall, because what we’ve been seeing is the changes are happening so fast that it’s not just like you can look at it once a month. It could be costing you your leads for your entire month.

Google has been saying, “You as a user could have greater authority about what’s happening within that business than the business owner themselves.” There’s a lot of business listings out there that are not claimed, and so when they’re not claimed, it’s you and I who are feeding Google the relevant information. They’ve said, “You know what, this is a policy we’re willing to adapt and recognize and absorb that your feedback within the Google business listing,” maybe even before, or it could trump the business’s information that they have entered into a claimed listing!

So, it’s really important to keep watching your business listing, responding to reviews right away, and this new menu option within the home services industry is also a game changer. Many businesses receive a lot of leads from the map pack listings, and this is the information your consumers are looking at first. So yeah, definitely be on top of it.

Thanks for joining us today! Sorry that we don’t have an article about the Google business listing because this is something, like, hot off the press! No one’s talking about it yet, and I think we’re some of the only people that have put anything out yet. So definitely check it out  and review your listing. Thanks for joining us! See you next week. If you’d like more information about these issues in the meantime or need other marketing advice, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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