Google has started a new era in helping businesses large and small protect their online reputation. Their latest update has temporarily limited the functionality of Google My Business or GMB. These changes are designed to help your business rather than hurt.
This change is related to shelter-in-place, where people are unable to visit your physical locations. This also applies to those businesses without a physical location and have a service area. If the state Governor does not close your state this change doesn't affect your GMB listing. As states are closed then these rules set by Google will. Once your state opens up the rules below will be start to move back to normal.
The core focus of GMB right now is providing updated information on your hours, temporary closed, business descriptions, and core business attributes (e.g., your products and services), etc. To make sure your business profile is as accurate as possible do the following:
- Update your business hours: During this time if your hours have changed you should update them. You can do this on a day-by-day basis, in advance of the date.
- Update your profile information: If it makes sense for your business state how COVID-19 (Coronavirus) affects your day-to-day business operations. State any extra precautions you are making to protect your employees and customers. State any extra services your doing to help build awareness in your local community.
- Create a post: You already know to create a post whenever you have an updated blog article, press information, or event happening. Now is a great time to create some extra content related to this event and how you are using it to better your business.
What else is affected?
- New Reviews: During this time new reviews will not be published to your profile. Your customers can still post and see their reviews but will not be made public. Google has not officially stated if these reviews will be made public after the limits are lifted. We are encouraging our customers to hold-off asking for any new reviews until after the event due to this information not being known.
Review Replies: Like reviews, the replies to reviews are currently disabled. Set time aside after the limits are lifted so that you can reply to the reviews you have.
Q&As: All existing questions and answers related to your business are not visible. In Google's statement, they made reference to keeping new Q&As with no reference to any of your old ones.