Bing Places For Business replaces Bing Business Portal

Filed in Bing, Local Search by Matt McGee on April 25, 2013 7 Comments

bing-b-logoThis is interesting: Bing has just announced a significant change to its local business listing management platform.

The name is changing from Bing Business Portal to Bing Places for Business (just like Google’s name for its similar platform), and a lot of what I’d call the expanded functionality from the old Business Portal is being stripped out.

The new Bing Places for Business site is available at bing.com/places and, after you login, you end up at www.bingplaces.com/DashBoard. There’s a nice touch available during login to the new platform: live online chat to get questions answered about the migration.

After logging in, I ended up on a dashboard that looks like this:

bing-places-dashboard

I haven’t explored any further, but it looks pretty simple to use. Bing says that it’s dropping a lot of the non-local search functionality from the old Business Portal — stuff that may have been helpful for local businesses, but really went beyond managing a local online listing:

…as part of our drive to simplify the experience we are retiring a few business promotion and management services that were being previously offered. Starting today we will no longer provide the option of creating deals, coupons, QR codes and mobile sites as well as removing the ability to create and print collateral for your business.

Those may not have been heavily-used tools, but the loss of the mobile-friendly site is a shame. It’s not that Bing created some amazing mobile experience for its Business Portal users, but at least it was something — and something that matched the existing local business data.

As far as account and data migration, Bing included this alert during the login process:

All changes made prior to April 22nd on Bing Business Portal are part of the new platform and the remaining changes are expected to be reflected on the Places for Business platform by April 29th, 2013.

That certainly looks and sounds like an easier migration process than what Google is putting local business owners through, doesn’t it?

Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Comments are open if you’ve spent time using the new Bing Places for Business dashboard and want to share some thoughts.

Comments (7)

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  1. Phil Rozek says:

    Thanks, M2.

    I did have an opportunity to use the new dashboard today to add a listing, and it really is a big step forward. Rather than the 7-8 tabs, there are only 3 (as your screenshot shows) – which I find to be the biggest improvement. You’re not any longer picking out categories and adding photos on separate screens; all the stuff you can add to your listing is on one screen, a la the creaky old Google Places dashboard.

    There still seems to be no way to add custom categories. But that’s my only gripe. Pretty nice overall.

  2. Chris says:

    Lost a couple photos and a video in one listing, but a nice transition. Like Phil pointed out, the one page scroll is preferable to the multi page process that may have confused some SMB owners when trying to update/change info.

    Looks like more available categories (up to 10 now), and the mobile site disappearing no big deal (now), but what happened to the offers?

    All the other marketing tools were fun to play with for ideas but never really too user-friendly.

    Maybe I’m just missing it, but we need the window clings & special offers/coupons back!!

  3. We have a home based business but never need our customers to come here. Bing Business Portal had an option to not disclose our exact location. I don’t see it on Bing Places. Does any one know if it’s still an option? Art

  4. CATHERINE says:

    Saw this new service by Bing,after signing in, you are directly moving to places. Can add multiple business too at one point of time.It’s more like Google listing. Must be useful for bsuinesses.

  5. Brian Coryat says:

    We had some time to meet with some of the folks behind the new Bing integrations for local businesses and brand locations at the recent LSA conference.
    Bing is going hard directly at Google and we believe that they are, and will continue to be a major player in local search, especially in mobile.
    Look for more improvements coming our way! Yay Bing!!

    • Matt McGee says:

      I hope that’s the case and how it turns out, Brian. I just wish they’d stick with a plan — too many changes can be confusing for SMBs. But if this new product simplifies the overall process, hopefully that’s a good thing and they don’t change direction again anytime soon.

  6. Julie Harris says:

    I wasn’t aware of this Matt not until I read your post. Thanks for sharing this information, with it’s new name and new functions, Bing is getting better. I hope they could open more opportunities for our businesses. :)

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