Google responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by sending workers home and operating with a limited support team. This temporarily removes certain Google My Business (GMB) features and delays for remaining features are expected.
According to Google, they’re prioritizing “critical health-related businesses and services” to ensure the public has access to important health and safety information amid the evolving COVID-19 situation.
Client Reviews Are Unavailable
New reviews, new review replies, Q&A, and all videos are currently unavailable. Google has given no indication of when these features will return.
While unclear, it’s believed new reviews will be saved and published after Google resumes normal operations. However, with so many reviews getting backlogged, it’s unclear how quickly they will appear.
That being said, now is NOT a good time to ask clients for new reviews. More importantly, asking for a review may not be received well during these difficult times.
Log new client information in a reliable place and ask for reviews once Google has made it clear the review process is back to normal.
Business information edits are significantly delayed. This includes changes to hours of operation, temporary closures, business descriptions, and attributes.
However, it’s critical that any changes to your operation be reflected in your GBM profile. According to Google, the best way to make these critical edits is via business attributes or posts.
The post functionality, specifically, has been called out by Google as a reliable way to get important information to your clients. Click here for instructions on how to create a post.
Google has also recommended using the COVID-19 post type, which will make the content more noticeable to clients.
Claims, Verifications, New Listings
Claims, verifications and new listings are currently delayed for all non-critical businesses.
Google’s limited support team is manually reviewing new content for health-related businesses and services—it’s unclear how Google plans to prioritize new claims, verifications, and listings for all other businesses.
Frustrated? You’re Not Alone…
If you’re having trouble updating information on GMB, you’re in good company.
Fortunately, there are other ways to get clients the information they need:
- Add operational changes to your website’s homepage. A pop-up window or top banner will help call attention to important updates.
- Share operational changes on social media and update business descriptions on these platforms to reflect changes taking place amid COVID-19.
- Email your client database to help spread the word. Connecting with past clients is also a great way to improve referral business.
While there are certainly challenges your business will face as Google continues to make adjustments, Network Affiliates is here to help.