Google had a pretty significant news release on Friday and I just want to make sure you saw it. They are changing their Google My Business rules fairly substantially during the COVID-19 crisis.
Reviews – First of all, there are no new reviews. While people can leave reviews on your business at this time, they will not be made publicly available. Google has not told us when they’ll make these available. So as people are adding reviews to your Google My Business profile, they’re not going to be made public.
Review Replies – The other is review replies. That’s also been disabled. SO, You can’t leave any responses to reviews on your business.
Q&A – The third thing that’s completely locked down is the Q & A. So the question and answers that appear for your business, people can’t ask you questions and you can’t answer questions right now.
Those three features have been completely removed. Google gave some reasoning including making it a little easier for businesses to operate, not be flooded with questions, and things like that.
There are a few other things that have been limited severely. The first one of those is adding, claiming and verifying listings. They have not stopped that completely, but Google has said that you can expect longer delays in terms of getting a new listing back on Google. The other, editing information on your business could take a long time. Again, it’s still working, but it could also take a long time.
The final thing is Google posts. Google has not said that they are not letting you post it to your Google My Business profile, but many of our clients are saying that most of their posts are being rejected. You’ll get a message that it’s out of compliance with their terms of service, at least that is what we’re seeing, even though their posts follow Google’s guidelines. So, it’s unlikely that you can get new posts out on your Google My Business profile.
So again, there are some pretty significant changes in terms of keeping your Google My Business profile up-to-date. We will keep you updated as we hear more.