You may have heard about the survey Google sent last week to small business owners, asking for their feedback about a range of paid features that could at some point be added to Google My Business. I posted a column yesterday over at Street Fight that covers what's in the survey and offers some speculation about what it means.
In summary, I wrote that although a paid version of Google My Business would be a major change in the 14 year history of Google's local product line, the survey itself does not indicate any concrete plans or any specific timelines. Moreover, it seems to suggest that the current feature set, for the most part, would remain available at no charge, with possible packages of additional features added for a monthly fee.
Now Google has released a statement on the topic to partners:
Google's statement is short on specifics, but the use of terms like "experimenting" is notable. I was also told informally that the survey was very much an exploratory activity and that, confirming my earlier speculation, the free model would likely continue for existing features.
We will, of course, keep our ears to the ground for any further developments. As usual, stay tuned to the Brandify blog for the news that matters in local!