Google My Business Response to COVID-19
Without a doubt, the Coronavirus COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the search marketing sector. Every day, Google has taken extraordinary steps to assist mitigate the Coronavirus’s extensive harmful impacts on businesses and websites, as well as offer consumers with the most up-to-date
information on COVID-19.
Google My Business features are limited
Google has curtailed the capability of the Google My Business platform to eliminate the need for team members to come into Google offices, potentially harming themselves and others. Only listing and review updates for health-related enterprises will be prioritized by the GMB team. The GMB team is manually reviewing newly produced listings, claims, and verifications for all other sorts of businesses, which will likely cause delays. Users can also no longer add new reviews, review responses, short names, photographs, videos, or Q+As to any listings.
Google My Business has also restricted the methods by which users can contact them for assistance. GMB’s phone and chat assistance are no longer available; the only way to reach GMB with questions or issues is via email.
Announcements for COVID-19 have a new post type.
Google My Business has launched a new post type for businesses to submit any COVID-19-related announcements. Users can now select to post a “COVID-19 Update” from the menu. There are no additional fields in this post type, however, it will display pinned at the top of the GMB listing in local search. This post type can be used by business owners to share information about their present state of affairs, such as if they’re temporarily closed, have new operation hours, offer takeout or delivery, and what safety steps they’re taking to protect their customers’ health.
Any posts that are published after the COVID-19 Update post will appear below it, ensuring that customers see the most critical information first.
It’s excellent that Google acted so fast to help users understand more about COVID-19 and protect their online reputation from its negative impacts. Many of these adjustments are expected to be transitory for the time being, but it’s evident that search behavior has already altered dramatically as a result of the Coronavirus, and the question now is whether this shift in how Google and the rest of the search marketing business operates will be permanent.