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This isn't too surprising in hindsight, since Google separated out twitter.com/googlesmallbiz and twitter.com/googlemybiz, but Google's separated out the official help forum now too. Now there's the Google My Business forum (for things to do with local ranking and GMB), and Google Small Business, which seems to be mostly aimed at helping small business owners with miscelanous technical questions. Everything from adwords express to mobile website tips and email problems.

Any thoughts on the value of the split? Thoughts on wider implications about what this says about Google's attitude towards small business owners and Google My Business?

To be fair, the kinds of questions that googlesmallbiz seems to be aimed at answering aren't questions that were really asked in the google my business forum anyway. Maybe those questions used to be scattered around the webmaster forum, adwords forum, and so on, and they're wanting to consolidate a single easy resource to point small business owners towards.
 

JoyHawkins

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From Google:

As of Monday (6/27), we’ll be welcoming members of the Small Business G+ Community into our ever expanding Google Advertiser Community. With the move, we will also welcome a group of experts, the Google Small Business Advisors.

The Top Contributors and the Small Business Advisors and are two separate expert programs, each with their own focus and specialties.

You are all familiar with the TC program. TCs are our product experts and active members of Google’s advertiser communities who earn the distinction of TC by sharing their knowledge inside our online communities. TCs are not only the most active members of the Advertiser Community, but are also creators of op-ed articles and video tutorials, and speakers at various industry events.

Google Small Business Advisors are experts in a wide swath of small business-related fields (from graphic design to digital marketing to accounting) and offer their expertise as a resource across multiple social channels, including Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Going forward, The Google Small Business Advisors will be managed by dedicated Community Managers from our SMB Marketing Team. We don’t expect any immediate changes to the way our Community Managers interact with you today! In fact, we are hoping to bring more users (who are not using the products today) into the digital world, and have them learn about digital marketing and start leveraging the great products we have.
 
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Thanks for the clarification there Joy! Interesting, seems like Google's hoping to put together resources for business owners that goes a fair bit beyond just help with their own product offerings. I suppose that would be the easiest way to reach people not already using Google products though: put together a really helpful community that every business owner would want to use, that also happens to be heavily tied in with Google products. We'll see where it goes.
 
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