With the continuing development of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google My Business has taken action to ensure the continued accuracy of all listings on its platform for both users and businesses. On average, a Google My Business listing is viewed over 1,000 times per month. Google has released updated guidelines, added a new post type, and limited certain functionalities of the My Business platform in response to COVID-19.
With conditions constantly changing, it’s important to keep your business information updated. Let us guide you through the changes that will be most impactful for you, as well as ways to ensure that you are presenting up-to-date information.
Update Business Hours
Business hours are one of the most clearly visible bits of information on your listing when found on search. If the hours for your sales offices or design centers have changed, update the times that you will be open and closed, so that users know the best times to contact you.
If you recently closed a community sales office or design center, Google makes it easy for your customers to become aware of this change by enabling the functionality to mark locations as “temporarily closed.”
Create a COVID-19 Post
Prioritizing virtual tours? Showing new home models by appointment only? Let your potential buyers and current homeowners know how your company is handling the COVID-19 situation by utilizing a Google My Business post that allows you to communicate with customers as changes occur.
Google has even created a COVID-19 post type, which allows the post to be highlighted as pertinent information to the pandemic. If you are offering video appointments, or want to highlight virtual tours, use the post’s call-to-action button to link to the relevant page on your website.
Limited Update Functionality
Google is focused on ensuring the accuracy and quality of business listings during this uncertain time. To address this, they have limited certain capabilities for both businesses and users:
- Prioritized updates for healthcare-related businesses mean that it could take longer for your Google My Business listing updates to take effect.
- Potential delays in new listings, listing claims, and verifications.
- No new reviews, review replies, or Q&A.
- Q&A sections have temporarily been removed from listings.
- New videos can not be added to listings.
There have been many reports circulating Google My Business forums regarding issues with adding descriptions and posts being rejected. One possibility is that this change may be due to the sudden peak in changes being made to listings.
We will continue to provide updates about how to optimize your Google My Business listing during the COVID-19 pandemic.