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How To Manage Google My Business (GMB) Listings During COVID-19

Important Updates for Business Owners

How To Manage Google My Business (GMB) Listings During COVID-19

Operational norms are changing daily with Google, just like with every other business during this crisis. Business owners need to be aware of the latest impacts on their listings and make sure they are leveraging GMB to keep their customer base and community informed during this time of crisis.

Here are the most recent changes.

1.Reviews are disabled - Google started seeing negative reviews coming in because the lines were too long, or product was out of stock, or a business had been ordered shut down, but Google hours showed still open, etc. Google doesn't want a one-week period to cast dispersions on your business, so they have ghosted reviews. Right now, there is no indication that these reviews will ever be sorted through and legitimate reviews allowed to go through, they're probably just gone forever. With that in mind, don't send out review requests right now for Google. If you do want to keep sending out review requests, push them to Facebook, Yelp, etc.

2.Q&A is disabled – Q&A is a great way to inform the public about your business and services but has been disabled due to abuse during COVID-19.

3.Loosening of Business Name Conventions – Google is temporarily allowing you to edit your business name allowing you to add Covid-19 information into your business name. For example, "Bumdoodlers Lunch Co" can edit the business name to "Bumdoodlers Lunch Co offering take-out and curbside delivery.""Pinnacle Dentistry" can be changed to "Pinnacle Dentistry - office temporarily closed/emergency dental procedures available."

4.Google is using government information to auto-label listings as closed – That's why it is so important to be proactive with your listing right now and check it daily.

GMB posts are the best way to get your messages out. A website update is only seen by people who go to your website. Email updates only go to your email list. The whole internet can hear you when you talk through Google My Business Posts. It's your first line of defense. Any message sent over social media can also be a GMB post. Posting once a day if circumstances change is ok right now, normally only one post per week is recommended. Remember, too many posts and your message get pushed down and can get lost in the mix.

Proactive communication is key. Everyone is going through this. Be transparent, be flexible, and think about other ways you can be helpful to your clients or customers. Be sure to mention special efforts you are taking to protect employees and clientele.

Above all, be patient. Events, rules, and best practices are changing daily. Most of you will see this message at the top of your GMB page – "Limited Google My Business functionality. Edits, review replies, and other Google My Business functionality may not operate as usual at this time due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)." When you make edits to your GMB information, reviews are taking longer, and health related categories are being given priority. Google also sent its workforce home to work remotely, and in a great display of irony, they were totally unprepared for remote work.

We hope this information helps keep our local businesses informed and current. Ten Peaks Media will keep you updated as we learn more. We will get through this together.

Stay healthy and flatten the curve.

The Team at Ten Peaks Media

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