Google My Business Limits Features During COVID-19 Pandemic
In March, Google announced they would be limiting Google My Business (GMB) features and functionality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The limitations come as part of an effort by Google to focus on the quality and reliability of the location information on Google Maps, and to keep Google employees safe and healthy.
Google My Business resources are being shifted to focus on edits to essential features to ensure brands and business owners can keep their customers updated on their business in this unprecedented time. Essential features include hours of operation, marking a business as temporarily closed or closed, business descriptions and business attributes. In addition to focusing on essential edits, Google is temporarily prioritizing business edits to health-related businesses. Brands and business owners should expect delays in non-essential business edits and possibly delays if your business is not health-related.
In addition to delays in business edits, Google has temporarily disabled several features. With a limited GMB team and many business edits coming in, Google disabled these features to ensure resources are focused on the essentials.
Temporarily disabled features
- The ability to leave a new review
- The ability to respond to a review
- The ability to add to/edit Q&A (customer FAQ on GMB listing)
- The ability to upload new videos
The Google Posts feature was temporarily disabled, but is now back up and running. Google is working through previously rejected Posts that were submitted during the time the feature was disabled. Additionally, Google has added a new Post type: COVID-19 update. The new Post type allows a business to add information about updated hours, change in business operations, change in business management regarding hygiene/safety and requests for support.
Although Google said to expect delays for some business edits, it is still important for local businesses to submit any business updates to Google My Business. Mindstream Media Group clients needing edits to local business information should contact their representative. We will process the edits immediately and monitor them until they are live.
As you are waiting for edits on Google to be reviewed, we recommend updating customers through other outlets, such as: Google Posts, social media, email, a blog post or adding a banner to your website.
With shelter-in-place orders in more than 40 states and non-essential businesses being told to close their doors, it’s more important than ever to ensure local business information is accurate.
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