Google My Business – ** Covid-19 Update ** 30 March 2020

Google My Business Update Covid 19
Challenging times means that businesses need to evolve and adapt to the situations that are surrounding us right now… and that includes GOOGLE.

Google My Business Shuts Down Reviews, FAQ’s and More…

Google My Business (GMB) is shutting down some GMB functionalities.

In this blog post I am going to go through each and every one of them so you can find out how it’s impacting your local listing in search results and what you can do about it.

Business Name ** New Features**

Now if your a restaurant, public house or cafe and have had to adapt your services like offering take-away’s Google My Business is now allowing you to change your company name to add in more details about the services your offering inc takeaway – IN YOUR BUSINESS name area… I would really endorse undertaking this practice if you fall within the criteria below…

For an example of this check out this link and you will see what you can do, plus you command a greater area.

Google wants to be seen to be helping businesses that have been hit by the Corona Virus/Covid-19 pandemic and I would make full use of this additional new functionality…. it won’t last for long… but better YOU undertake this and not your competitor…

new text area on google my business

What I would NOT advise is businesses other than restaurants, pubs and cafes etc. undertaking this practice… the last thing you’re going to want is to have Google remove your listing.

Restricted Functionality – Google Reviews

Google Reviews – has been temporally removed since 20th march, and customer reviews has been now been restricted.

Google wants to support local enterprise and also understands that we all have new pressures to deal with, so it wants to reduce the stresses a little…

Your reviews can still be seen, thats a positive…. But you will no longer be able to gain new reviews… if you do promote GMB reviews from your customers then they will not show till after Google lifts the restrictions.

Additional to this you cannot respond to reviews either and these two moves by GOOGLE are there to protect YOU and your business, so NO malicious reviews or comments for you and your business.

I would advise creating a secure database and storing your clients details and reach out when we are out of this pandemic.

Restricted Functionality – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s have also been temporally removed too. This has been undertaken to stop mis-information being added to FAQ’s or businesses being inundated with questions when they have more pressing things to be dealing with.

Business Descriptions

Your business description area, where you get to write about your company seems to be glitching, so if you’re make any updates to this area the listing this MAY get rejected.

Google Posts

A popular way to get some noise about your business is to use GOOGLES Posts feature in GMB, however… there is a glitch on the system too, which means that some GMB posts are now being rejected… Google are aware of this glitch and are working on a Fix. ( **I will update this post when I get news on this** )

Photos From Your Customer

This function seems to have stopped if your asking users to share their picture off your business, this again falls inline with their thinking on mis-information.

The feature will return…

As far as I am aware as a business owner you can still upload as you’re the manager of GMB and a valid source of content being uploaded.

Marking Your Business As Temporally Closed

You may have been forced by the Government to close up until you are informed to open back up again… and rather than CLOSING the business listing on GOOGLE My Business it has added in a feature to allow you to put “Temporally Closed”.

How do I do this?

In GMB, go to the info section in the main panel and mark as TEMP closed – if you find yourself in this situation PLEASE take the time to do this yourself as in some cases the general public or compeittion have been submitting this on behalf of some businesses and that means a headache to try and get your GMB listing back up and running…

What Do I Do If Someone Has Marked My Business As Closed/Ceased Trading?

If you find yourself in this position you would need to go into GMB and Info and MARK AS OPEN – however… your submission will be under review and due to the current global crisis your going to be in the hands of a reduced review team at Google.

New Listings

If you don’t have a GMB listing there is a delay due to Covid-19, no date range for reviews has been set as of yet.

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    Author: Graham Paffett

    A seasoned luxury goods & services digital marketer with over 20 years Exp. A specialist in developing "disruptive" digital campaigns and strategies for FMCG brands both within the UK and International. • Paid Social (inc. Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn & Pinterest) • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) • PPC (Pay Per Click) • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) • ASO (App Store Optimisation) • Direct To Consumer & B2B Digital Strategy Specialist • Social Media Marketer