Google My Business has changed and this is what you need to know

Ahh Google.

The ever-changing, always innovating, Revenue generating, search engine optimisation infuriating web giant has made several changes to their Google My Business Listing feature. We wanted to run you through some of these important changes and what implications they’ll have, if any?

Services

Well its about time right? Well, sort of.

The update released about a month ago had specified;

The Menu and Services editing feature is now available to businesses like restaurants or hair salons in all countries and languages. In Google My Business, you may see an option to add menu items or services, along with their descriptions and prices. When customers find your business listing on Google, they’ll see your menu items listed under “Menu” or “Services.”

So I started looking for restaurants and hairdressers locally had their services or menu in their GMB listing. Nothing.

Ok maybe that’s fair, local businesses probably aren’t aware of this feature just yet, so I thought I’d try franchised restaurants and hair-dressers. Still nothing.

I used the globally recognised Hard Rock Cafe as the center of my research and even they don’t have their “menu items listed under either “Menu” or “Services”. Next to the ‘Menu’ title, you can see a link to their menu, but not a list of their actual menu items, as was seemingly promised:

So why isn’t it showing up?

It hasn’t been rolled out for desktop. Annoying I know. Additionally, the navigation to the services section isn’t exactly what I’d call intuitive (client details have been redacted).

Another problem that we have discovered here is how your business category can negatively affect your listed “services”. I say this as one of our clients, listed as a “Recruitment Agency” in GMB, doesn’t actually offer “Services” in the eyes of Google. Google has instead given businesses under the “Recruitment Agency” category a “Menu”, as can be seen below.

Clearly, this should be ‘Services’, with some obvious glitches that will need to be ironed out by Google over the coming months.

The positives are that whilst navigating to this feature isn’t intuitive, it does look nice and is practical.

Attributes

The new attributes feature might end up being the most impactful update from Google. As an important note, attributes were introduced back in December of 2016 and have been progressively updated since then.

Attributes let customers see what your business has to offer, such as whether a restaurant offers Wi-Fi or outdoor seating, or if your business is women-led. Adding relevant, accurate attributes to your listing helps customers discover your business on Google.  Certain factual attributes (e.g. outdoor seating, women-led) are directly editable by you. Subjective attributes (e.g. whether your business is popular with locals) rely on the opinions of Google users who’ve visited your business.

Why is this important?

We firmly believe that Google works best for those who make the maximum amount of information available to Google. Attributes are one piece of important information. The interesting part is that attributes ‘directly editable by you’, are actually limited by what Google deems that you are relevant for. For example, our above client only has the ‘Women-led’ available.

I whole-heartedly feel that attributes will play an enormous role in search because they will be a determining factor by which Google uses to measure the quality of your website and business.

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