There is no refuting that the entire world is going through hard times and local businesses worldwide, being forced to wind up or adapt quickly, as measures are stored in place to prevent the extent of COVID -19.
During this tough time, Google is committed to ensuring that the customers are kept efficient and updated on any enhancements affecting local SEO, and last week we saw the first essential change by Google.
During this unprecedented Corona Virus 19, also referred to as COVID -19 situation, Google’s priority is to endangered the health of their team members and diminish the requirement for people to come to their offices. In a solution to this, there may be momentary delays and restrictions and delays in support as Google spotlights essential services. Therefore, for the moment, these essential features will be provisionally limited or detached.
On Wednesday 25th, a ‘Temporarily Closed’ option was also added into Google My Business for those businesses that are shuttered due to COVID-19.
Features That Have Been Removed
Google My Business will not be broadcasting any Reviews, Reviews Replies, or New Question and Answers for the foreseeable future. However, the existing Reviews, Reviews Replies, or New Question and Answers will still be evident and visible. Apparently, newly submitted questions and answers, reviews, and replies will sooner or later be published when Google has the full resources to do so.
In these hard times, no new reviews will be published to Google My Business Profiles. Users can see and post their reviews at this time, but they will not be visible to the public. It is not yet known whether these reviews will be publicly visible once they lift the restrictions.
Review replies also have been disabled, and no new reviews will appear, there is visibly less requirement for a business to be able to counter right now. Therefore, businesses will be incapable of existing reviews on their profile. This also applies to an edition of the content of existing reviews replies.
Question & Answers
One of the significant changes is that Question & Answers’ have been completely eradicating from profiles. Therefore, all existing Q&As will not be visible to the public, and users will not be able to post new questions.
Adding, Claiming and Verifying Listings
The Google My Business support team, during this tough situation, will give precedence to review new claims, listings, and verifications for essential health-related business. Meaning, Google is keeping prioritizing vital services; other types of businesses can wait for the broadcasting of new listings, verifications, and claims.
Google will also prioritize its vital services and will also extend reviewing Business Information Edits.
Some of the Services that come Under this Scheme are:
- Alteration to close and open states
- Special Hours
- Temporary Closures
- Business Natures
- Business Descriptions
Hence, if your business does not deliver or provide a vital, health-associated service, then you may have to wait for some time before you come over some alterations and edits go live on your Google My Business Listing.
Other Essential Facts to Know
However, neither officially confirmed or announced by Google, several SEO’s are observing other changes in Google My Business. Though Google Posts are available at the time of writing, SEO’s are reporting; they are observing several rejections. Thus, if your post fails, do not panic, you are not alone.
Apart from this, Google is also helping all people across the world with a global response to help people stay safe, informed, and connected.