In an effort to protect the health of their own team members and reduce the number of staff coming into their offices, Google is asking businesses to expect temporary delays and limitations in the typical services offered for Google My Business listings.
In short, they are placing their focus on providing users with reliable information through Google Search and Maps, helping to ensure that all users and business owners have access to the most pressing features, like special hours and showing whether or not a business is open.
Temporary Google My Business Product Changes
The priority will be placed on critical health-related businesses. For other verified businesses, the focus will be any edits reflecting open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits.
New Listings, Verifications & Claims
Again, only new listings, claims, and verifications for critical health-related businesses will be manually reviewed by Google Support at this time. Other types of businesses should expect a delay in claiming new listings and verifications for Google Maps and Search.
New Reviews and Q&A Section
During this time, no new reviews, review replies, or new Q&A will be available as a feature to businesses.
To read more, check out Google’s official announcement here.
What Can Your Business Do in the Meantime?
- Make sure changes to listings are significant. Avoid unnecessary changes like adding photos, changing descriptions, etc. Keep the focus on major changes needed, especially related to your business hours, your business name, your address, and your contact information.
- Focus on gathering reviews on other platforms. While businesses cannot solicit reviews, business owners can consider other opportunities available. Options include verbal review requests, email follow-up after a service is complete with a link to provide feedback, or displaying signs in your place of business about where customers can review your business. There are numerous other platforms that are beneficial to build reviews on, such as Yelp, Facebook, Home Advisor, Avvo, and more.
What Are GMB Best Practices if Your Business Has Been Affected by COVID-19?
For those businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, it is important to update your listing with the most current and accurate information possible to your customers.
If your hours have changed or you have important COVID-related information to relay to customers, include this information within your business description.
Any updates made will show on your profile in Google Maps and Google Search.
Note: Google may review any changes made for quality purposes before they are published, so changes may not be reflected immediately in Google Search or Google Maps.
Learn more about making updates to your business if it’s been affected by COVID-19 here.
As always, your Scorpion team is here to help you navigate through these changes. If you have any questions or concerns on how this may affect you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your marketing team or you can contact us here.