Until now, local businesses or their agencies had to use the Google My Business (GMB) site or mobile app to update business information. But the company is making it possible to edit or update GMB profiles directly from Maps and Search.
Google announced Thursday morning that local marketers will be able to “create posts, reply to reviews, add photos and update business information” directly within these consumer-facing interfaces. Here’s how it looks in Google-provided images.
Edit business data from within search results or Google Maps
To do this, agencies or business owners need to be signed in with the Google account associated with the business.
Just search for ‘my business.’ On Maps you access the business information from the profile image in the upper right. In Search, Google says you query the business name or search for “my business” (if you’re signed in) and the edit button will appear both in the Knowledge Panel/profile and at the top of results.
The Maps business-profile update flow
Initially the “my business” lookup capability will be limited to English in the U.S. and, presumably, other English-speaking countries. It will then expand to other languages over the next several months.
New insights and recommendations. Google is also upgrading GMB insights with a “revamped performance page” featuring new consumer-engagement information. There will also be additional (unspecified) data, as well as “helpful recommendations” about improving the GMB presence. These include the benefits of “adding information to your Business Profile, responding to recent customer reviews, or using Google Ads to help your business stand out.”
Why we care. According to Google’s own data, about 90% of GMB profiles are single location businesses. Around the world, I’m speculating, that may be approaching 200 million locations. According to an analysis of 2.4 million GMB listings performed by Places Scout, an average of 62% of U.S. GMB profiles are claimed. Whitespark found, in a smaller sample of 800,000 listings, that 49% were claimed.
These new tools will make it easier and more likely small business owners will update and improve their GMB profiles. Search and Maps access, rather than requiring SMBs to use the GMB app or site, should increase business owner engagement. It may also boost the number of profiles claimed as well.
During the pandemic, in particular, local business listings have played an important role for businesses to communicate changes to their customers. Google has added many new features in Google My Business since March.