Hey there, Vikings. We wanted to take a moment to let everyone know how things are going with private instances. The quick summary is that our users currently fall into three camps. We have many who are already up and running on their private instances. Others have encountered bureaucratic or technical obstacles, and are therefore in the middle of the process. The rest of you still need to apply for your private instances. You can do that here: https://localviking.com/private_instance_requests
Google My Business recently put a moratorium on API access applicants. If you go there to apply right now, you’ll see a notice stating that no one will be able to apply until August 2, 2021. That is the number one roadblock that people are currently facing. That is not something we can influence or control. If you haven’t yet applied for GMB API access, your only move for now is to wait it out.
No one in their right mind would call applying for API access fun. Better descriptions of the process would be “boring,” or “needlessly technical,” or “soul draining.” It’s a necessary evil. Besides, the payoff here is pretty asymmetrical (in your favor).
The feedback we’ve received from people who are already using their private, individualized instances of Local Viking has been universal. Having the Local Viking experience on your own website, with your own logos, loaded up with your own clients can really give you a sense of ownership– and that feeling will be deserved.
Two users told us, fully independent of each other, that they’ve taken some time to just click around the platform when they got their private instances firing on all cylinders. Seeing the platform function with their logos on it made quite an impression. It will make an impression on clients and potential clients as well.
If you’re looking for a way to flex your competence, being able to flash a seemingly homegrown platform will give you an edge that makes you stand out and seem a cut above the rest. Whether you’re meeting with someone in person or sharing your screen on a Zoom call, showing someone that you’ve got your own system for rank tracking, reporting, and post scheduling makes quite an impression. We’ve found that people find GeoGrid search results pretty striking as well. These are all things to consider if you haven’t taken a moment to think about them.
To be sure, there are users who have been given Google My Business API access who are not up and running yet. A common issue, as of this moment, is people whose locations are not populating in their accounts properly. We are actively powering through that.
Another issue that is plaguing a number of people is the fact that, despite having been granted API access, they are having trouble connecting the API to their Local Viking account. We’ve implemented a test you can run to see if you fall into that category. If you check your white label configurations, you’ll notice that there’s a circular arrow (it looks a lot like the refresh icon on most web browsers). If you click it, we send a test call to your API to see what kind of response we get. If there’s an error, you’ll see it on the page that loads after clicking that button.
The two most common error codes are 403 and 404. If you get a 403 error, that means that you need to enable the API for your project (that terminology will make sense if you go through the instructions). There will be a direct link that takes you to the page where you can enable it. A 404 error usually means that you’ve enabled the Google My Business API at your account level instead of the project level.
One thing to keep in mind is that the instructions we are giving out do work. They are not missing any steps. If you follow them, you will get your private instance working. There are screenshots and links to videos throughout the document. If anything is unclear, please take advantage of those references. The instructions can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1l5ec1cW-aDf4uQqQtacC4_GR65L75RhD_dsuxWdY1Tg/edit?usp=sharing
Getting API access and connecting it to your site is the digital equivalent of building something with your hands. When you’re done, you can sit back and admire it. It’s a worthy accomplishment. It’s also a safety measure. It’s a way to ensure that your productivity is never again jeopardized by a tech giant doling out group punishment if it deigns to enforce its guidelines by suspending an entire platform because of the actions of a small fraction of a small fraction of 1% of its users.
If you do not qualify for Google My Business API access because you are a business owner or do not work for an agency, don’t despair. We have a solution for you. We are in the same boat as everyone else as far as getting a new GMB API connection, so we are waiting on August 2nd alongside everyone else to put it in place. We have tested it. It works. You will be able to enjoy every feature of Local Viking in the near future. None of your account settings or posts or reports have been lost. All of your data is waiting for you on the other side.
In the meantime, we will continue to help as many people as we can get their private instances working properly. We recently hit a breakthrough and the amount of users who are back on their feet has been snowballing. We’re getting through this and we have a clear path to light at the end of the tunnel. We look forward to celebrating with you when we can put the recent turmoil behind us.