Google My Business News/Updates

Professor M Photos
Professor M

Expert, Trainer, Speaker - Google My Business and Local SEO

Table of Contents

Sign up for my newsletter »

The latest Google My Business and Local Marketing: News, Updates, Issues Alerts, Training Articles

In this page you will find news and updates for Google My Business:

  • New visuals
  • New tests
  • New features

GMB News/Updates Timeline

May 2021

May 5, 2021

Google My Business Site Insights

If you are using the free Google My Business Website you are able to check insights for the website by pressing on the info icon next to the “xx people visited your site”

May 5, 2021
May 5, 2021

“Business Profile performance” report includes the number of completed bookings

Stefan Somborac discovered a new Google My Business change, the new “Business Profile performance” report should start showing the number of completed bookings, if you’ve set up bookings through a provider.

May 5, 2021
May 5, 2021

Google My Business Contact Form Change

Allie Margeson found a change on the Google My Business Contact Form, you can now select which business you need help with when using the contact form.
I can see this change so it should be mean it’s a wide roll-out change.

May 5, 2021

April 2021

April 8, 2021

Google My Business Clarifies Phone Numbers Not Allowed In Google Posts

This new policy is named Phone Stuffing and Google wrote “To avoid the risk of abuse, we do not allow your post content to include a phone number. You can make your phone number available on your Business Profile or website.”
Check the SER’s article

April 8, 2021
April 8, 2021

“People Also Search For” on Google displays Local Businesses Maps

Google is now able to show in the “people also search for” query refinement feature local business listings and map results. Valentin Pletzer noticed this and posted a screenshot (click to enlarge) on Twitter which you can see here.
Check the SER’s article

April 8, 2021
April 12, 2021

New Local Links Guidelines

Action-oriented links on GMB (book appointment, make reservation, place order) must point to a landing page that allows the user to perform the desired action. If it’s inaccessible (e.g. 404, timeout) Google will remove it. Check here.

April 12, 2021
April 13, 2021

New Option to Edit Your Profile on Google Search

Google announced this on Twitter saying “You can now easily edit information on your Business Profile like hours, category and location — all directly on Google Search with an enhanced editor.” Check here.

April 13, 2021
April 14, 2021

April Google My Business Category Changes

New
Abarth dealer
Building designer

Updated
Resort changed to Resort hotel
Car service changed to Chauffer service

Removed
None

April 14, 2021
April 15, 2021

Google Highlights Updates For Business That Have Posted Recently

Joy Hawkins spotted a test that Google is doing on the Google Maps app. It shows a red dot on the Updates .
Check here for more


April 15, 2021
April 19, 2021

New Local Finder and Business Profile Test for Services Businesses

Tom Waddington discovered that Google is testing a new style of result in the local pack for certain services categories.
Check here for more


April 19, 2021
April 21, 2021

Google Reviews showing “Visited in” dates

Google is showing visit in date by reviewers. Good for review trust. Similar to verified purchases in Amazon.

April 21, 2021
April 21, 2021

Reserve Table Displayed in Google Maps

Tim Capper discovered that Google is testing Reserve Table Displayed in Google Maps.

April 21, 2021
April 22, 2021

New Food Ordering Section in Google My Business Dashboard

Where before you would have Online orders in your web dashboard, now Food Businesses have Food ordering instead.

April 22, 2021
April 22, 2021

Google Tests Local Car Listings From Dealerships

Google seems to be testing launching a new local feature to let car dealerships showcase their local car and auto inventory on Google Search. This follows February update: Google My Business testing a new feature – “Car for Sale”
Check more here

April 22, 2021
April 22, 2021

Google Maps now lets businesses specify what materials they accept for recycling

Business owners can add recycling attributes for Maps and Search in Google My Business today.
Check more here

April 22, 2021
April 23, 2021

Google Tests Hotel Travel Destination Refinement Carousel

Google seems to be testing a new search carousel that lets you refine your hotel searches for a new destination. Check more here

April 23, 2021
April 26, 2021

New Large Competitors Logos on Google Search Autocomplete Feature

Lluc B. Penycate found extremely large logos/favicons showing for “people also search for” results in Google’s autocomplete search suggestions.Check more here

April 26, 2021

March 2021

March 1, 2021

Possible Google Local Algorithm Update Last Week

Some users and agencies are reporting drastic shifts in ranking on from the 24-25 February

March 1, 2021
March 2, 2021

Google My Business recorded a 61% jump in customer calls

During the first half of 2020, Google My Business recorded a 61% jump in consumer calls, from inquiries about open hours to arrangements for curbside pickups. For the 12 months ending June 2020, call volume increased 35% and continues to track 27% higher than pre-pandemic levels

March 2, 2021
March 3, 2021

Google Testing ‘Estimated Cost Near You’ in the Local SERPS

This section appears between the map and the 3 local results. Test appears to be only confined to US and Service businesses. They are running an experiment with Homewyse to surface local cost estimates in local results when users search for select types of home services on Google,


March 3, 2021
March 8, 2021

Google enables searches for Women-led businesses on Search and Maps

Users will be able to search for women-led businesses, e.g. “women-led restaurants”, “women-led stores”. This particular feature is available on Google My Business where women-led businesses can identify as such on their business profile.

March 8, 2021
March 9, 2021

Google enables Free Hotel Listings Option

Google has announced that it is now offering a free version of its hotel listings, this is now in addition to the paid option. You can sign up to participate over here.

March 9, 2021
March 11, 2021

Google adds own custom links to the GMB Public Profile’s Order CTA

Google has added the local food businesses custom order link to the CTA, you see it on the pop-up box. Previously, Google only showed 3rd party integrated platforms in it.

March 11, 2021
March 16, 2021

Google Local Search SERPS Showing Menu Highlights

Google’s Local Pack is showing Menu justifications.

March 16, 2021
March 19, 2021

Google Reviews New “Not Helpful” Button

Google Maps App has new button for Google Reviews “Not Helpful”

March 19, 2021
March 22, 2021

Google My Business Profile New “Chat” Button

Google is testing a new button “Chat” instead of messages

March 22, 2021
March 26, 2021

Google My Business Profile Test – “Owner” and “History” Accordion Tabs

Google is testing a new accordion on the public profile with “Owner” information (business description) and History (from web sources) as tabs.

March 26, 2021
March 30, 2021

Google Mobile Local SERPS 2 Pack only Testing

Joy Hawkins found in the last couple of weeks, Google has been slowly testing a change to mobile search results, changing the local pack to 2-packs in the search results. But it is a very limited testing as not many users are seeing this.

March 30, 2021

February 2021

February 1, 2021

Google My Business guidelines Address Changed

GMB guidelines now differentiate between listings at a rented mailbox (not allowed) vs. coworking space. New for coworking space: required that the location “maintains clear signage” and “receives customers at the location during business hours”

February 1, 2021
February 2, 2021

Google My Business testing a new feature – “Car for Sale”

Google is testing a new car inventory feed for auto dealers, showing their stock to sale on the GMB listing. Similar to product post but with car industry labels/features.
This test is only allowing a small number of auto dealers in the US.

February 2, 2021
February 2, 2021

Google My Business Not Applied Changes Now Offer Send Edit Feedback

The feature seems to allow you to send additional feedback to Google when a suggested edit you make to a Google business listing is not accepted (i.e. not applied) for some reason.


February 2, 2021
February 4, 2021

Google Showing Rating Stars in the Reviews Box at Google My Business Public Profiles

Google adds stars to the Review Summary Box on the public profile. It’s only a test.


February 4, 2021
February 5, 2021

“Available online” filter for some service business search results.

This will filter to only show businesses that have the ‘online estimates’ service option attribute.



February 5, 2021
February 7, 2021

Local Pack SBA Hybrids new Test

If you see your service business (including hybrids that show addresses) displaying no address in the 3-pack or local finder do not worry this is working as intended and is a test. The address still shows when the profile is displayed.

February 7, 2021
February 9, 2021

Google Search Local Pack – Coworking Office Spaces Labels

Google is now labeling some businesses that are in coworking office spaces with that label in the local pack search results.

February 9, 2021
February 11, 2021

Google My Business Public Profiles showing Staff and Lawyers

Another test by Google. Appears is using website and LinkedIn

February 11, 2021
February 15, 2021

Google Testing “Find Results On”In the US

This is a feature Google launched in the European Union after the anti-competitive cases. But now, I am seeing reports of this in the US, maybe it is a bug or a test.

February 15, 2021
February 17, 2021

Google Local Searches showing filters for Restaurants

Google is showing a browse by filter that lets you filter down your restaurant selections by type.

February 17, 2021

January 2021

January 3, 2021

Google Tests Customized Tabs on the Public Profile

Google began testing new tabs related to the search query and appears to get the information from the business website.




January 3, 2021
January 7, 2021

Google My Business Has New Insurance Attribute for Healthcare Providers

Google has advised to its trusted partners information on an attribute that will make it easier for healthcare providers to share information about health insurance networks accepted at different locations or physicians.
You cannot add this attribute manually via the GMB dashboard, you must do it through the GMB API.

January 7, 2021
January 15, 2021

Google removes review attributes/places topics from reviews

Users are complaining that some review attributes/places topics like “Professional” are missing.


January 15, 2021
January 20, 2021

Google My Business Messaging being attacked by Spam

Spammy SEO companies are spamming through GMB messaging.

Google My Business Messaging Spam Example

January 20, 2021
January 21, 2021

Google My Business Insights Breaks Photos Uploads By Owner vs Customer

Google My Business has updated the photo views Insights report to let you filter the images based on if the owner uploaded the photo or a customer uploaded the photo.
There is a new drop down to filter by all photos, owner photos and customer photos.

January 21, 2021
January 25, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination locations will be available in Google Search and Maps

It will include details like whether an appointment or referral is required, if access is limited to specific groups, or if it has a drive-through.

January 25, 2021
January 25, 2021

Google My Business Public Profile Review Summaries Grouped By Place Topics

Place topics are an experimental feature launched in 2019 that help potential customers “find the main themes of your business through Place Topics. These main themes are based on the reviews of your business

January 25, 2021
January 25, 2021

Google My Business Public Profile Third-Party Reviews for Summary Cards

3rd party review summary cards for 3rd party sites above the Google Review Summaries

January 25, 2021
January 28, 2021

Google Testing Red and White Hotel Pricing Pins on Google Maps


Normally when you search for hotels on Google Maps, Google will show you a hotel search box with blue pricing pins. Google is now testing variations of the colors for those pins both in red and white background colors, and maybe more.

January 28, 2021

December 2020

December 1, 2020

New “Suggest an edit” Screens on Mobile

There are new screens showing for flagging locations/spam/closed locations in Google if you use the mobile phone.



December 1, 2020
December 7, 2020

Google Reviews Tests “New” Label

It looks like Google is testing a new label for recent reviews on businesses. The label says “new” and it is an outlined box. Appears to be for reviews with less than 4 weeks.



December 7, 2020
December 8, 2020

Tourist Attractions Getting Large Icons

Not everyone is seeing the landmark icons yet, so this could be a test or a slow rollout. In order to view landmarks, open Google Maps and go to any big city and check if you can see the landmarks icons. This is currently occurring on both desktop and mobile.


December 8, 2020
December 9, 2020

Expanded Google My Business Profile Amenities list for Hotels

Google My Businesses released more amenities options you can choose for your hotel listing.


December 9, 2020
December 10, 2020

Google Testing New Guaranteed Badge Look

The new look is in keeping with Google logo colors. It is a shield with a checkmark in it, using Google’s logo colours.

December 10, 2020
December 12, 2020

New Health & Safety Attributes Design

Some Google My Business Listings are showing a new design box for Health & Safety Attributes


December 12, 2020
December 13, 2020

Google My Business listings now showing web search results

Go to a business listing in Google Maps and scroll past the business information and towards the bottom, you will see “Web Results.”


December 13, 2020
December 15, 2020

New GMB Profile Buttons

Google is testing visual changes around CTA buttons on business profiles. On a computer, Google is testing round buttons as opposed to square buttons. On mobile, Google is testing bubble designs for the tabs, instead of simple text with underlines.


December 15, 2020
December 20, 2020

Covid-19 related questions asked to users

Google is asking users Covid19 related questions in the “Know This Place?”


December 20, 2020
December 28, 2020

Google My Business is New Services Justifications

It looks like Google is testing Services Justifications (icons with text underneath the listing). Service justifications, like the other types of justifications, can have an impact on CTR.


December 28, 2020

November 2020

November 25, 2020

Google expanding auction-based pricing to Google Local Services Ads

Google began testing the bid mode option for businesses in home services verticals in some markets in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, which allowed participating businesses to set the maximum amount they are willing to pay for a lead from Local Services Ads.


November 25, 2020
November 20, 2020

Google Drops Reviews on Local Pack

Google stopped showing reviews on many Local Searches Pack, eg Banks, Car Wash


November 20, 2020
November 15, 2020

Google Adds Google Guaranteed Badges to Google Maps

Google is now showing Google Guaranteed badges on Google Maps. Currently, only appears on computer, not mobile.

November 15, 2020
November 10, 2020

Google Maps Showing Address Numbers Directly on Map

Seems to be available in some countries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark.
Not in others: France, Italy, Belgium

November 10, 2020
November 5, 2020

New Google My Business Dashboard

November 5, 2020

To learn the latest about Google My Business, you should check these articles:

Sign up for my newsletter »

The latest Google My Business and Local Marketing: News, Updates, Issues Alerts, Training Articles

Share it:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email
Sign up to the best Newsletter for Google My business, Local SEO and Local Marketing

Get the Coolest tips and news about Google My Business and Other Local Marketing Subjects