Google My Business Agency Dashboard: Delight or Disaster for SEOs?

Google My Business Agency Dashboard: Delight or Disaster for SEOs?

Announced by Google just over a month ago, but finally launched on June 6 Google My Business Agency Dashboard aims to give agency partners full control over their multi-location clients’ multiple GMB profiles. You can register here to get access to the GMB Agency Dashboard.

This news is long-awaited by the countless poor SEOs previously stuck manually logging into a separate GMB profile for each location, and has the potential to drastically improve the efficiency and efficacy of your GMB profile updates. However, the local SEO industry has encountered some major challenges with the new feature (see below).

Coming as it does after a raft of new features for and improvements to Google My Business (and the local search experience as a whole), this is a timely reminder that Google is taking local SEO very seriously in 2018.

Here’s a rundown of the main features in the Google My Business Agency Dashboard:

Google My Business Agency Dashboard Features

  • Manage an unlimited (well, Google says ‘thousands’) number of locations from within one account.
  • New ‘Location Groups’ can be set up to collect organizations. Access to the Location Group can by sought by or given by both client and agency.
  • Quick search function allows for easier access to locations within your entire account or Location Group.
  • User Groups help management of teams and access control, with permission levels available for different user types.
  • Invite others to manage listings and view invite status.

SEOs’ Reception to the GMB Agency Dashboard

Since the release of the new Dashboard, the local SEO community has been awash with criticisms of the new feature. Joy Hawkins shared her initial frustrations on Twitter, reporting:

  • Migrating a location forces you to become the primary owner = booting the business owner to a manager.
  • Your employees can’t be added until they empty their GMB account.
  • I get 4 email alerts for every location I transfer over.
  • The client also gets these 4 emails and wonders what is going on.
  • You lose the GMB dashboard in search (my fav).
  • You see a list of invitations you’ve sent but can’t filter the ones outstanding.
  • Someone adds you as a manager on a listing and it results in an error. You have to be the one to ask for an invitation. Client doesn’t know this. Super confusing.
  • Several listings cannot be requested. Trying to request access prompts you to create a new listing.
  • The first person to accept the request has success but since it goes to every owner on the listing, the rest of them get a 404 error when they click.
  • Currently not seeing any way to link any listings inside the New GMB Agency Dashboard with Adwords.

If you’ve got questions or have encountered issues, Local Search Forum has an excellent mega-thread going on here: ‘GMB Agency Dashboard Problems or Confusion‘.

Forthcoming BrightLocal Updates to Make Managing Google My Business Easier

Google’s not the only one taking GMB and local search seriously in 2018. In response to new (and longstanding but growing in use) GMB features, the BrightLocal toolset is in the process of expanding to include the following:

  • Manage Google reviews efficiently with new reputation management features
  • Write and schedule Google My Business Posts from BrightLocal
  • Manage and monitor multiple locations from one dashboard

Look out for these updates later this year!

We’d love to hear your thoughts

Have you dove into the Google My Business Agency Dashboard yet? What’s your take on it? Have you found it easy to implement and communicate about with your clients? Have you encountered challenges? We’d love to hear about your experiences so let us know in the comments below.

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22 thoughts on “Google My Business Agency Dashboard: Delight or Disaster for SEOs?”

  1. My biggest issue is that you have no access from the GMB mobile app if you’re on the agency account. – STILL. It’s January 2019 now for crying out loud ! I’m not even sure why they hyped it up so much. I was already managing several GMB locations from ONE email – in fact, the SAME email I used to sign up to the agency dashboard with… so far, there has been no additional benefit.

  2. In order to get rid of this error:
    ”You aren’t eligible to be a member of an organization or user group. To associate your account with an organization, any locations or location groups directly owned by your account must first be removed or transferred.”

    1. From your personal account, create a single location group. You can name it anything, as you won’t be using it anymore.
    2. Transfer/pool all locations/listings into the group.
    3. Add your agency/organization as owner of the group, by entering the organization ID.
    4. Accept the invite from the organization account.
    5. Delete the group from your personal account, if you want to add your personal account to the organization/agency account.

    More info here:

  3. Aside: This post seems to be the ONLY page that Google has indexed for
    >”You aren’t eligible to be a member of an organization or user group. To associate your account with an organization, any locations or location groups directly owned by your account must first be removed or transferred.”

    Ha! Nice.

  4. It seems the best way to migrate to the new dashboard is to use a new email address that has nothing in GMB for it.

    1. Add/Re-verify all your properties to the new dashboard (Yes I know. PITA). Tell your clients “Sorry. We’re upgrading to the new dashboard that Google has made available for agencies.”
    2. Then remove all properties from the old dashboard.
    3. Then Invite old dashboard’s user to the new dashboard/organization.
    4. Now make the old dashboard user the primary owner of the new dashboard.

  5. WTH… Google’s new email address policy is a kick in the balls. I invited my other company email address (the one that have all the GMB access) to the agency account and I got this: “You aren’t eligible to be a member of an organization or user group. To associate your account with an organization, any locations or location groups directly owned by your account must first be removed or transferred.”

    Do they expect us to redo hours of verification setups just to have an agency account?

    1. Hi Kevin, wow that seems very complex. As with a lot of things Google, it seems that on the surface it’s very simple but in reality the process is a lot more complicated.

      Hoping you find a way to set it up correctly. I’m sure the time you’ll be saving in the long run will be worth it!



      1. Yep, just annoyed they make things so hard. Chalk it up as another example of too many teams and silos over at Google not talking to each other.

      2. True, but it’s a step in the right direction! I wouldn’t mind if they were up-front about complexity, but they’re so insistent on making everything so simple-looking that it undoubtedly leads to a lot of friction between expectations and reality. I suppose this is where ‘too big to fail’ gets you!

  6. Wow… Writing and scheduling Google My Business Posts from BrightLocal is awesome… can you kindly let us know the estimated period it will happen? last quarter of 2018? We’re excited with the good news

    1. Hi Daverly, thanks for your comment. We’re as excited as you are about this update but we do have a jam-packed schedule of planned updates in the pipeline for this year, so this isn’t likely to see the light of day until the first half of next year.



  7. What would be the best way for our agency to move over all our locations we have now from our gmail account to the new agency platform? Do we have to do each one manually or is there a way to merge all accounts into our new agency account? THanks

  8. How do you convert this from an existing account? Registering asks for a new agency.

    You’ll need to use a Google account that’s associated with your company’s email (and doesn’t currently own or manage locations)

  9. How would this work if you had one bad apple client? Could the whole account be suspended? How do you add clients to the account? The client would remain the owner and you would have them assign to you admin permissions?

    1. Hi Walt, the dashboard allows the client to request access to the Location Groups from the agency and vice versa. With regard to your other questions, there’s precious little support documentation from Google at this stage, so we can’t really advise. Probably a good idea to get stuck in and take a look around the new features!



  10. That being said, does BrightLocal finally allow the option to track multiple locations under one business account or does it still require each location to be added individually?

    1. Hi Corey, thanks for your comment.

      You can actually track up to 100 locations on BrightLocal’s SEO Pro plan, and we have options for Enterprise accounts if you need more (more here:

      In terms of adding multiple locations, there are three options: 1) add manually through the interface, one at a time, 2) import through Google My Business, and 3) import via csv.

      Hope that helps


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