Google has temporarily limited some Google My Business (GMB) features during the COVID-19 situation
The Latest on Google My Business (GMB) limited features
*Originally published March 27th, 2020, updated April 12th, 2020*
Below you’ll find some good news about the GMB features that were temporarily limited the past weeks.
1. Good news on Reviews and Q&A
Google is now working to restore full functionality to GMB. More updates to come.
2. Business information edits being resumed
- Business posts that were temporarily disabled have since resumed.
- Previously rejected business posts are now being reprocessed, check back in a few days to see whether your post is live
- You can now create a “COVID-19 update”, which will be featured more prominently within your Business Profile. You can use the new COVID-19 update to share important information such as:
- Hours of operation and/or temporary closures
- Changes to how the business operates, such as “call or text for details”, “contactless payments”, “closed waiting rooms” etc.
- Updates to how the location is being managed as it relates to safety and COVID-19 precautions
- Requests for support or show support to the community, etc.
3. Newly created listings, claims, and verifications may still take longer than usual
- Google will continue to manually review new listings, claims and verifications for critical health-related business to Google Search and Maps.
- Expect delays if your business is outside the health-related category.
We’ll continue to update this blog post with more information. If you have any questions or concerns, our client support line is open from 5:00 am – 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time at 1.800.727.0445 or you can email us at: email@example.com.
Most important information first
March 27th, 2020
- Google has temporarily paused all Reviews and Q+A activity. At this time, Google is prioritizing reviewing edits critical to health-related businesses. Expect delays with newly created listings, claims, verifications, and business information edits.
- We recommend continuing to collect Google reviews as usual; presumably, reviews will become published when Google is back to business as usual. If you are concerned, start redirecting customers to other review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, or your favorite industry-specific platform.
- For businesses that use Broadly, Web Chat, Messaging, and Payments are great ways to make running your business during COVID-19 social distancing easier for you and your team.
- Broadly will keep you updated on this blog post as we know more, and our support team is always available for account-specific questions and advice. We’re here for you!
Okay, want more details? Keep reading…
Google has reported, “During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services.”
Below is an overview of the three features that are affected by COVID-19 and what that means for your business.
1. Reviews and Q&A are unavailable during this time
- Currently, business owners cannot respond to any reviews or make posts that are not related to COVID-19 and how it affects their business
- Customers are still able to leave reviews for your business, but they will not get published at this time
- Reviewers can see reviews they’ve written, but their reviews are not visible to the public
- Presumably, reviews left during this time will be published when Google is back to business as usual
- Due to Google’s inability to moderate the Q&A activity, it is unavailable at this time
- Your Q&A history will still appear on your Google Knowledge Panel
2. Business Information Edits are delayed
Google will be prioritizing edits critical to health-related businesses as well as other verified business for the following:
- Open and closed states
- Special hours
- Temporary closures
- Business descriptions
- Business attributes edits
3. Creating, claiming and verifying listings may take longer
Google is manually reviewing and prioritizing the following for critical health-related businesses.
- Newly created listings
- Requests to claim a listing
- Verifying listings
If your business does is outside the health-related category, expect delays with:
- Publication of new listings
- Requests to claim a listing
- Verifications for Google Search and Maps
Here’s what we recommend at this time
Although some advisors suggest moving away from Google reviews, we feel differently. You should continue to:
- Collect Reviews as usual
- Continue to prioritize Google Reviews
- If concerned, you can redirect customers to other review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, or your favorite industry-specific platform
- Stay tuned for more updates here on this blog or by following @getbroadly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
How Broadly is providing support during this time
First, we will continue to oversee the situation, touch base with Google, and update this blog post as new developments come in.
For those who use Broadly every day, here are some product-specific tips that can help run your business during the COVID-19:
- Add Broadly’s Web Chat feature to your website, making it easy for customers to reach you and as an alternative to GMB.
- Use Broadly’s Messaging to communicate with your customers about how you are safely providing your service during the current COVID-19 situation.
- Collect payments using Broadly securely via SMS and Email for minimal contact during COVID-19.
If you aren’t using Broadly today but want to learn more, you can call us at 1.800.693.1089 .
Lastly, we know this is a challenging time, and we’re here to help in any way we can. If you have any questions or concerns and need support, our client support line is open from 5:00 am – 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time at 1.800.727.0445 or you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you, your loved ones, and the team stays healthy!