This year was a busy one for Google. In 2021 they rolled out so many updates to their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). For so many people the sheer number of changes may have been hard to keep up with. So, today we’re recapping the most recent changes Google has rolled out so you can go into 2022 informed.
Google has been evolving the attributes a business can list. Where businesses can distinguish themselves as veteran-owned, woman-owned, and the like, now those phrases have been updated to reflect more current social standards. This change is mainly to help match more current search terms.
Real-Time Customer Communication
Now businesses are able to communicate with customers in real-time on both the web browser and mobile apps. This change was designed to make customer communication faster and easier than ever.
One important thing to note with this is that Google takes into account business response time. The faster you respond, the better. If you take over 24 hours Google takes note of that. If you plan on using this feature it’s important that you’re able to regularly and reliably respond to messages in a timely manner.
New Industry-Specific Functionality
In a post-pandemic world, people have been making unique searches. To keep up with demand and to meet users where they are, Google has released new industry-specific functions. Hotels and restaurants were specifically hit hard by Covid-19 and a lot of the changes.
Google has released new Covid-19 specific attributes, mostly health-related, such as:
Employees wear masks, face shields, and/or gloves
Hand-sanitizer in common areas
No-contact check-in and check-out
Temperature check required
Surfaces disinfected between visits
Dine-in, takeout, and delivery are available
They’ve also rolled out specific updates like allowing hotels to put hours of operation. Restaurants can also accept food orders directly through their listing. In addition, customers can gain access to online orders for takeout or delivery directly in Google Search and Maps. These simple changes have had a huge impact on how users can interact with businesses.
As 2021 draws to a close, now is the time to make sure you are up to date. If your industry has been impacted by these changes, it’s key that you make sure your listing is current. If you do, you’ll find your business will perform better on Google in 2022.