This week has been a good one for tracking Google My Business updates. So far, we’ve observed three changes and talked amongst ourselves about how this could affect local search in the near future. From a new label to a feature being removed, check out these 3 GMB updates you should know.
1. “New on Google” labels
If you’re searching for competitors around your neighbourhood, chances are you’ll see the same business names a majority of the time. Lately, though, we’ve noticed that Google’s been testing a new label entitled “New on Google” with a matching blue megaphone just before the text.
From what we know, it’s a little tough to spot because, in most of our own internal searches across various categories, there aren’t any new businesses to report. This may be a test restricted to the US, and won’t be rolling out in other countries soon, but do keep an eye for it in the Google 3-Pack and Maps search results.
This GMB update is important because…
When “New on Google” does roll out in Australia and the rest of the world, you’ll probably see this label pop up more often. This can definitely work to your advantage as you can see who’s new among your competitors and even spot duplicate listings that may have been created from aggregated sources.
2. Google My Business Posts section position changes
Looks like Google is testing this one too, as we’ve observed over the past few days. Or it could be a glitch.
Two weeks ago, we posted a COVID-19 update when Victoria went on lockdown. Nothing out of the ordinary back then – COVID-19 updates should be just below your primary business details. However, this week, we observed on our own GMB knowledge panel that our Google Posts section is gone. But when we checked other GMBs, the section was visible.
We are chalking this up to the existing COVID-19 update on our profile.
We like to take this as valuable insight: Google could be testing certain sections of GMB on certain categories, either to rearrange them or take them out completely. Just a few months ago, Google Posts no longer had a 7-day lifespan, which meant these would be visible if a user scrolls through a profile’s post history. And traditionally the GMB post section would still be visible at the bottom of the knowledge panel even if the COVID-19 update was live.
We’ll continue to observe our own knowledge panel and compare it to others and see if there are any changes.
3. You can’t use profile short names anymore
Earlier this week, we’ve received news that GMB profile short names will no longer be in use. Not a huge Google My Business update to mull over – and for those who have used short names in the past, don’t worry. According to an article in Search Engine Land, the existing links you use for your local marketing campaigns won’t be affected anytime soon. However, this won’t be available to newly made GMB profiles.
With these Google My Business updates, we can infer that the search engine giant is always making changes, whether they’re noticeable or not. And even if you spot sections disappearing or located elsewhere, it doesn’t mean you no longer need to pay attention or optimise that section. When in doubt, optimise. You can take a look at our 3-part optimisation guides – part 1, part 2 and part 3 – to improve your GMB profile.
Maintaining a Google My Business profile and keeping tabs with GMB updates can be a chore if you’re focusing on different aspects of your business. Talk to us at DigitalMaas and we’ll be able to support you – we’re here to make it easier for you to be, not only your customer’s first choice but to also make sense of local SEO.