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The latest updates on Google My Business.

This post is part of a continuing series of monthly updates on the #1 search tool used by ready-to-buy customers. For all the updates, or to see additional information, read Attract More Customers with Google My Business.

Updates to Name, Address & Phone

Google displays the date a listing was last updated when customers search for a business category. This is a significant change, as customers make their purchase decision based on up-to-date information. At a minimum, listing owners need to Post to their listing weekly and update hours, holidays, products and services as changes occur.

Google Guarantee for Listings

The little green star of the Google Guarantee is coming to Google Listings. 

The rumors are true; Google is planning to charge for listings.

At this time, a very few select US local business categories have the option to pay $50 per mos to receive the green star.

It is expected that the demand for the service will be very significant. Watch for the option to upgrade your local service listing with a message similar to this one. 

No word on timing when we can expect to see the option in Canada.

New Attributes

Google introduced four new attributes for listings:Curbside PickUp

  1. Online Care
  2. Online Appointment
  3. Online Estimates
  4. Online Classes
  5. Appointment required
  6. Mask required
  7. Staff wear masks
  8. Staff get temperature checks
  9. Temperature check required
  10. Black Owned Business (US only)

Attributes help your customers differentiate your business from another. Have free wi-fi? Curbside pickup? These are important decision points for customers and will determine which business a customer selects.

Attributes are pre-determined by Google but must be activated by the listing owner. Find Attributes in your Google listing under the Info menu, immediately after Products & Services.

Account Suspensions

There are two types of Google My Business listing suspensions.
  • A “hard suspension” causes the business listing to be removed entirely from search and Google Maps. This is the most common type of suspension.
  • A “soft suspension” leaves the listing available, but the account owner can’t manage it.
Business owners often request the reinstatement without understanding the suspension. It’s too common that business owners panic, remove the listing and create a new one. “This is a terrible mistake,” according to Fischer of Search Engine Land, “because it risks the loss of all the content (photos, videos, reviews) associated with that listing. But if the listing is successfully reinstated, all the content and its the listing’s ranking will typically return within 72 hours.”
  • Name and address errors are the most common infractions.  
If your listing is suspended, carefully review any information you receive from Google and carefully follow their step-by-step instructions.
Til next month!

Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google. Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers. If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.

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