Q: How can “Google My Business” impact local search results? Also, please tell me if it is making third-party local directories irrelevant?
A: While having a website is helpful to promote a local business, it may not be enough to get higher return in Google’s local listings. In 2014, Google introduced a new local product “Google My Business”, which succeeded the Google Places also. For any business that wants to create or manage local places listings on Google, it is vital to use “My Business”.
How is this Actually Helping?
Google has integrated its multiple products on a single dashboard on My Business. If you have your business listed with Google, a screen will appear on signing into Google My Business. You will see the Google Plus pages that you manage on the screen. This page will let you communicate with the audience through Google Plus as well as see the results of the conversations on the single dashboard.
Getting found on local listings does not really get easier because a business will have to submit the listing information to Google and get it verified. However, the deeper integration of Google Plus and Places may make it easier for your business to get found through a Google Plus query.
Coming to the second part of the question, no Google My Business isn’t making third-party local directories irrelevant. These directories are still counted amongst the biggest factors that contribute to the Google’s local search ranking algorithm. Moreover, these act as checks & balances for NAP validation. If you have consistent NAP details listed across major directions, the chances of your business getting better rankings on Google local search results get higher.
At last, I would say that there are no shortcuts to become more findable online. Google My Places only makes it easier for you to utilize the Google social products so that you can get better search rankings.