Google My Business is a valuable tool for small, midsize, and even large businesses. Steven Wyer notes that listings are often (conveniently) updated automatically. However, sometimes these updates can go wrong. Steven Wyer explains why this can be a problem and what business owners can do about it.
Q: What is Google My Business?
Steven Wyer: Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s free business listing service. If you’ve ever searched for a specific business, you’ve no doubt seen a sidebar that listed a business’s location, telephone number, website, hours, and other pertinent at-a-glance information.
Q: How it is usually updated?
Steven Wyer: Listing owners are typically responsible for ensuring their information is updated and accurate. However, Google’s algorithms do initiate automatic changes from time to time.
Q: What kinds of updates are commonly completed without the listing owner’s authorization?
Steven Wyer: Google may change hours, service offerings, or location based on publicly-available information.
Q: If the site owner is not notified, what are some signs that something has changed?
Steven Wyer: One of the biggest indications that a listing is not displayed properly is a sudden drop in business.
Q: How long does it take to correct a mistake?
Steven Wyer: Once a mistake is found, the listing owner can login to their dashboard and make changes immediately.
Q: Why do photos sometimes get switched to images that are not related to the business?
Steven Wyer: Google shut down its MapMaker feature in early 2017 which, without going into a great deal of technical detail, wreaked havoc on the hidden code related to untold thousands of images. Some of this skewing resulted in unrelated images being picked up as relevant to a specific business.
Q: Can Google create a page without notifying a business owner?
Steven Wyer: Absolutely and most GMB listings are created automatically by Google, again based on public information. Business owners have the option to claim listings through a verification process.
Q: What is a store-within-a-store?
Steven Wyer: An example would be a branded mobile phone kiosk inside a big brand department or electronics store.
Q: Do these types of sub- businesses benefit from having a separate Google My Business account?
Steven Wyer: Yes, since they provide a specific product or service.
Q: On average, what is the percentage of GMB listings that are updated without approval?
Steven Wyer: In an informal poll conducted by a large SEO service provider in 2017, 78% of online mark