A recent survey sent by Google has rocked the digital marketing world. Currently seen as the prominent free tool used by SEO professionals, some important changes may be coming to Google My Business. There’s no denying that Google is constantly looking for new ways to generate potential revenue. The question is; would you still use Google My Business if you had to pay for certain features?

One of the biggest reasons Google My Business has been successful is that it levels the playing field for small businesses that are willing to put in the work. However, with new pay-to-play features, there’s a chance that small business owners may have to inject capital in order compete on a local level. Ultimately, small businesses with a limited budget or resources would effectively be priced out. But what features would be included in a paid local pack? The answer may surprise you.

Google My Business

By all accounts it looks like not much would change if you decided to pay Google because listings will still be based on proximity and relevance. The only difference would be for people that refuse to pay for the service as they see their rank begin to tank. While business owners will be directly impacted, Google will continue to reap the benefits and customers searching for businesses will be none the wiser. It really makes you think about who has the most to gain.

While Google My Business has provided a steady stream of customers for many businesses, it shouldn’t be the primary focus of your online efforts. According to a recent survey conducted by BrightLocal, nearly 56% of consumers agreed that the most accurate source for a business’ information is their official website. With that in mind, wouldn’t it make more sense for small business owners to use their marketing budget to assist the growth of their website?

As questions continue to be raised about the future of Google My Business, it is still a lead generating outlet that small business owners should continue to use. While opportunities still exist on the platform, the benefits it provides could dwindle if pay-to-play features are implemented. If and when that day comes, ensuring your website is providing organic traffic should still be a priority.