Google Closes Small Business Community

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Ringing in the new year, Google announced that their foray into hyper-focused community for business owners is scheduled to close in just a couple of weeks with the end of life date set for January 16th, 2019.

Branded as “Small Business Community from Google,” the service was oriented around business owners in localized metropolitan forums that included St. Louis, Missouri. Without a clear strategy to engage more business owners, the concept failed to gain much traction and in Google fashion, was killed when it didn’t garner the desired attention.

In theory, while open to the public, it was really for business owners and very much felt like a virtual business networking from what we saw. Our own interactions with it showed much higher levels of interest in larger metropolitan areas with the focus being mostly on Google products as they relate to small businesses (i.e. issues or concerns with Google My Business listings, reviews, etc…).

In principle, the community could have not only cultivated a living online forum of business folks but more importantly to Google, a potential market for “introducing” (upselling) Google products beyond just Google Ads. Having just all but conceded defeat with the closure its Google Plus platform which had really fallen off in terms of user engagement, this isn’t a surprise given the low numbers of users on the service and the lack of tangible value for joining.

Google Closes Small Business Community Email Announcement
Google Closes Small Business Community Email Announcement

The St. Louis forum only ever garnered a handful of joiners and overall the monument seemed lacking from the start without a strong user base to help build meaningful conversations.

RIP Google Small Business Community!

For those who didn’t receive it, here is a legible copy of the announcement:

Thank you for being a member of the Small Business Community from Google. We’ve enjoyed being on this journey with you and appreciate all the tips, insights and enthusiasm shared along the way.
The Community will be closing in a few weeks; your last chance to access it will be January 16th. We will keep you posted on any future Community efforts. We hope you’ve made many connections as a member, and will continue to benefit from those relationships in the future.

For continued support, please check out these resources:

  • Primer app for quick and easy lessons on business and marketing skills
  • Grow with Google for free training, tools and events
  • Google My Business Product Support Community to connect with product experts and business owners

Best wishes for an exciting and prosperous 2019!

Many thanks,

The team at the Small Business Community from Google

PS: The announcement wasn’t even responsive. Need any help with that Google? :)

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