Most businesses are having to make some serious adjustments to their processes and how they run their business during this uncertain time in our world. With the spread of COVID-19, comes yet another business who has had to update some of their functionality. This time that business is Google. 

Google has made some updates to the functionality of Google My Business and we want to make sure that business owners know what to expect. The good news is that FreshLime works closely with Google for the small businesses we work with to ensure that these changes will have as little impact as possible on your Google listings. 

The reason for Google’s updates is pretty understandable at this time: They want to reduce the need for people to come into their offices in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Because of this, there will be temporary changes, but we can count on everything going back to normal once the virus is more controlled. 

First thing’s first. If your business is temporarily closed or has updated hours, be sure to get that changed on your Google My Business listing. Again, this is something FreshLime can do for the businesses we work with. These changes will be top priority for Google to allow users access to any updated business hours during this time. If you need more clarification about the process of updating your business information, read here. Google wants to keep searchers informed, and of course so do we. 

Some product features that will see temporary changes during this time are:

Reviews/Q&A

Perhaps the biggest change businesses will see to their Google My Business listings is that new reviews, review replies and new Q&A threads will be unavailable during this time. This is, of course, disappointing for business owners, but once it’s resolved, there are many things that can be done to increase your positive online reviews to make up for lost time. 

Newly Created Listings & Verifications

Google’s support team will be manually reviewing new listings, claims, and verifications for critical health-related businesses first. While they work to  prioritize these critical services, there is a possible, even likely, delay for publication of new listings, claims, and verifications for other types of businesses to Google Search and Maps. This doesn’t mean that new listings shouldn’t be created, it just might take a little extra time to get those listings live on Google. 

Business Information Edits

With reviews for edits, Google’s priority will temporarily be health-related businesses. During this time, Google will also prioritize reviews for open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses. In other words, changes should still be made when there’s an update to your business’ hours or temporary closed-status, even if you aren’t in the health-related industry. 

As always, your friends at FreshLime are here to help you. If you have any questions or concerns about these updates to Google My Business, please reach out to us so we can work with you to make things as simple and straightforward as possible. 

 

For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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