There really is never a fanfare for these things and if you are not watching for them or listening to a good account manager you will probably have missed the launch of Destinations on Google.
According to Google;
It's designed to help you discover and plan your perfect vacation on the go by doing the heavy lifting for you. Simply search with Google on your mobile for a state, country, or continent you'd like to travel to and add the word "vacation" or "destination" to get the stuff you need at your fingertips.
The service is accessed through a standard Google search on a mobile phone’s browser or on the Google Mobile app.
A search such as the one we have done for Destination Scotland will bring up a choice of popular locations; you can then click the more button to view the less often searched locations.
We mined downwards for Ayrshire and that in itself shows both the pluses and minuses for the process as it stands but what it does highlight is the need for tourism operators to have control of their Google My Business area - the destinations information is powered by a number of Google applications and Maps is certainly one of them.
We are still surprised at how many businesses have not claimed their business entry on Google (it's the map and details on the the right of every page) and every time we start a website or review a digital strategy it is the very first thing that we resolve.
How do you know if it's yours? Simply search for your business name along with your town and you will see the map, images and details appear on the right hand side of the page. If it says "Claim this Business" just get it done as soon as possible.
We have a attached a briefing document for you to download to allow you to do it quite easily for yourself or contact us and we'll do it for you.
When setting up Google My Business for our clients we will go through the process to ensure the business makes best use of all of the free Google tools including Maps, Google +, update and upload your images, profiles, content descriptions and even set up your YouTube channel too.
It is quite simple for most businesses to manage on their own and their is strong Google support too however we have came up against plenty of instances where Verification Codes go awry or support from Google proves less than helpful!
Regardless of how you set it up, project releases such as Destinations on Google ensure that you must have your information up to date. It is a free route to your website and cannot be ignored.