Do you have a listing on Google My Business (GMB) and would like to continue to thank the reviews your customers leave there? Or were you thinking on taking advantage of this quarantine period to respond all comments but, try as you may, your answers are not published?
Well, it seems that the coronavirus is also affecting Google’s work.
Let’s see what’s going on in its GMB service:
- It allows you to add “delivery available” or “takeout available” to the business name (normally this was not allowed as per GMB’s guidelines).
- Updates are taking more than more time than usual to get published.
- GMB phone support and chat support no longer work. The only way to contact GMB is to send an e-mail.
- Posts that have no violations of Google’s policies are being rejected.
- There are businesses being marked as “temporarily closed” without requesting it (if you are one of these companies and don’t want appear as closed, you need un-mark it in the dashboard).
- Google has temporarily cancelled (since last Friday) the new reviews, comments and all Q&A options, so companies will not be able to receive feedback from their users and business owners will not be able to reply to any comments or reviews.
Actually, Google seems to be such a digital and robotic “world” that we simply forget there are actual people working behind its computers.
Google says that, at the moment, it is giving priority to revising editions that are important for companies working in or related to the healthcare sector. It also says that it’s paying more attention to reviews associated to the opening and closing of companies, special opening hours, temporary closings and descriptions and editions of commercial attributes for verified companies (companies that validated their listing at the GMB).
Despite the limitations, GMB created a new temporary feature – the “COVID-19 Update” – a category of publications for your company to communicate any changes that are motivated by COVID-19.
With this category, all publications related to adjustments caused by the current situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic may be released here. The advantage of this feature is that your customers or visitors will be able to quickly identify what has changed in your company due to COVID-19.
For example, a supermarket can publish their new security rules regarding social distances; a restaurant, that it has take away service, since now it’s not open to the public; a clinical analysis lab, change the sample collection times; etc.
Prevention remains the operative keyword these days and Google is also doing its part. But don't forget, in this new category you can only add temporary adjustments caused by the implementation of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, not information of a definite nature.
We’ll stay tuned for more news and info to share with you and in the meanwhile, as you already know, the most important is to #stayathome.
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