On 3/20/2020, Google My Business (GMB) placed some restrictions on its system and will not be publishing reviews, review replies, or new Q&A responses at this time. Existing content will remain.
Any newly submitted reviews and Q&A’s will be added in the future. Yelp followed Google’s lead yesterday (3/23/2020), by limiting any negative reviews, and we’ve heard that Facebook will be implementing similar restrictions in the next few days.
Advice Media’s Vice President of Strategy, Chad Erickson, said “This appears to be Google’s way of protecting small business owners from malicious and inconsiderate individuals who might blast their business for shutting down, changing their hours, or canceling appointments or other services. Without this intervention, negative reviews could get out of hand for many small business owners.”
In addition to prioritizing claims and verifications for critical health-related businesses, Google will prioritize business information edits for the following:
- Changes to open and closed states
- Special hours
- Temporary closures
- Business descriptions
- Business attributes
New Listings, Claims, and Verifications
The Google My Business support team will continue to approve changes, but they will give priority to the critical health-related businesses. All other businesses should expect a delay if they are trying to set up a new listing, claims, and verifications. Since most of our clients provide fee-for-service, non-essential health-care services, or legal services, you should anticipate a delay in seeing some of these updates post to your GMB profile. In the interim, your team at Advice Media can add notices and pop-ups to your website.
Current Google Posts
Google is not eliminating nor restricting any previous post information or functionality. We encourage our clients to continue posting updates to their GMB listing. Let your patients and clients know whether or not you are open and able to see them.
Google’s current allowance of this service may change in the future, particularly given the unpredictability that we are all experiencing. For now, take advantage of your GMB page as a great way to communicate with your patients/clients.