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. To do this, agencies or business owners need to be signed in with the Google account associated with the business.
Edit business data from within search results or Google Maps
Update and correction: Google first introduced the capacity to update the GMB profile through Search in 2017. I was remind of this after the publication of this article. This is an expansion of that capability into Google Maps. There are also a number of new features discussed below.
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.”
Here are the specific new features and capabilities added today according to a Google spokesperson:
- A new Performance Page that lets merchants see their customer interactions directly in Search or Maps. (Previously merchants had to go to Google My Business to see this information.)
- A simplified menu on Search and Maps, with 3 sections: Edit your profile, Promote your business, and connect with Customers
- “Q&A” is now available in the main menu, giving merchants direct access to questions that customers have asked about their business. This feature also lets merchants post Frequently Asked Questions about their business themselves.
- Two new ways to easily access your Business Profile on Search: first, by searching for the name of the business (no need to include your business’ address in your search), and secondly, by searching for “my business.” On the Maps app, there is a new item in the Account Menu called “Your Business Profile” which brings you directly to your Business Profile.
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.