If you’re a business with an online presence, then you know how important having a completed Google My Business Listing is. Your Google My Business profile is what gives users the information that will direct them into your store or to your website- things that are hugely important for both local and online businesses.

Much like everything else on Google, Google My Business is also prone to frequent update, with or without notice. In 2017 especially, there have been a number of Google My Business updates to happen that modify and/or improve the way businesses can use it. Below are some of these Google My Business Updates and what they mean for businesses.

Google My Business Updates from 2017

  • Photo & Location Insights

For photos, you can now see insights about how many views, clicks, and follows come from the pictures your business posts. There is also a comparison graph that lets you see how your photos are performing when stacked against similar nearby businesses. With photo insights, businesses can choose to view data within the past 7, 30, or 90 day timeframe.

Through the Google My Business API, businesses can get location insights, including information on location attributes, managing service areas, and viewing location related data insights. This is mainly beneficial for larger businesses with multiple locations, but anyone can learn more about the Google My Business API here.

  • Menu/List of Services

One of the features I think is most beneficial to users is the addition of menus or services to Google My Business listings. To utilize this, businesses must follow Google’s guidelines, which require menus and services to be representative of what’s actually available at businesses and a few rules on linking to other menus or services. This is a great way for businesses to give users all the information they need upfront, potentially driving traffic to their business over another, less complete Google My Business profile.

  • Pending Edits Removal from Google Maps

As you may or may not have already known, there’s been a problem with spammers attacking legitimate business listings by reporting them as spam. It used to be that when a business listing was reported as spam, a pending status appeared in their mobile listing. Shortly after this was pointed out, Google removed the pending edits display for business listings. Now, if a business is reported as spam, the pending status won’t appear until the edit is published.

  • Permanently Closed Listing Removal

Another Google My Business Feature that quietly went away is permanently closed business listings. Such business listings used to appear at the bottom of the listings rankings in the local finder but have since disappeared. Obviously, including permanently closed listings isn’t all that helpful for users looking for something, which is probably why they were removed. Despite being removed from the local listings, permanently closed listings can still be found if a user specifically searches for such a business.

  • Attribution Edits All At Once In One Place

If and when a business accepts the Google attributes update (you probably already have), you can manage and edit all your listed attributes in one place. This can include information such as “has WIFI” or “walk-ins welcome” as well as anything else businesses would want to list as attributes for users to see upfront. This is particularly useful for businesses with multiple locations, as they may want to specify attributes for each location.

The Takeaway

Businesses should take advantage of these updates, because they cater to the needs users have when searching for business listings. Having a full and complete Google My Business listing is often what compels a user to choose one business over another. In having a fully completed listing, users have access to more of the information that fuels their decision making process while businesses can benefit in rankings from having in-depth details available.