During the confusion caused by COVID-19, Google is staying true to its core mission to supply users with convenient access to relevant information. In order to do so, Google will be making changes to its local business directory Google My Business.
They made an announcement on Friday, March 20, 2020, outlining what these changes entail. I am sure that your business will be affected in some way.
Read the rest of this article to find out what changes are being made as well as best practices for maintaining your Google My Business account during this time.
How Google Is Handling The COVID-19 Outbreak
Google explained that its “current focus is on the quality and reliability of the information on Google Search and Maps. We want to ensure users and business owners have access to essential features like whether the business is open or has special hours.”
As a result, it is extremely important that you are presenting the most current information for your business. By doing so, you’ll keep your potential customers informed & will not add to the confusion of the COVID-19 situation.
Google My Business Platform Changes
At this time, Google will also be changing how they handle Google My Business listings, edits, reviews, and Q&A.
First of all, Google will be prioritizing the edits of health-related businesses. The Google My Business team will then “prioritize reviews for open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses”.
It is crucial that you provide the most current information for your business. You can also use posts to explain any changes in service in detail.
New Listings, Claims, & Verifications
Google stated that its support team will manually review new listings, claims, and verifications for critical health-related businesses first. As a result, business owners “should expect a delay in the publication of new listings, claims, and verifications for other types of businesses to Google Search and Maps”.
Again, a change in edit prioritization should not detour you from applying updates. You should ensure the accuracy of your information provided to users just as Google does.
Temporary Discontinuation of Reviews and Q&A
Unfortunately, Google My Business will not permit any new reviews, review replies, or Q&A until further notice. While users can still create a review for your business, new reviews will not be verified & posted during this time. The same applies to review replies and Q&A.
Posts will remain unaffected. We currently recommend that all of our clients use posts to communicate new policies, product/service offerings, promotions, & events. Our clients who are using posts are seeing an increase in engagement.
WAY Nation Solutions is here to help you through this time!
We understand that this is a hard time for business owners. However, the businesses that act during this period will come out ahead when the air clears.
To help out, we are offering free marketing consultations to help businesses transition. Schedule yours here.
We help our clients make killer GMB accounts! To find out how we can help you, start by requesting your Online Visibility Report.