One of the most important factors to a successful digital marketing strategy is keeping up with changes to Google algorithms and products. Towards the end of 2021, Google announced that they would be making changes to Google My Business (GMB), with the changes coming into effect in early 2022.
Google My Business management is an important part of digital marketing for any business owner. Google makes it easy for business owners to list and manage their business on their platform. Creating a listing for your business on the Google My Business platform makes it easy for customers to find you in their Google search results and on Google maps, making it a significant factor in local rankings.
As specialists in the search engine optimization space ourselves, we thought it would be helpful to share what’s new with Google My Business management in 2022. Let’s break down what changes you can expect with GMB management and why it’s important for your SEO marketing efforts.
One of the changes to GMB in 2022 is that it has been renamed to Google Business Profile. This particular change by Google is centered around making it easier for you to complete verification or update your information with your business profile. Here are some of the changes you can expect with the new Google Business Profile:
A big change to Google My Business management in 2022 is that the web application has been retired. With your Google Business Profile, you’ll no longer need to login to a separate web app to manage your business listing on Google. As long as you’re logged into your business account in Google Chrome, you can manage your listing via the search and maps applications.
This change by Google was implemented to make it even easier for small business owners to update their listing information, resolve any issues, and engage with their customers.
Google provides multiple ways to update your listing through search and maps. When you are logged in and complete a search for your business, you will notice at the top of search results a section about your profile that only those who have management access or above can view. This section will include links to edit your profile, promote or create advertisements using your profile, and view the call history. You can also see the performance report by clicking the views located just under, “Your business on Google.”
You’ll also see your business profile to the right of the listing results. This also provides links to those who have management access and above to edit the profile and add updates.
Please Note: the links to ask or answer questions and to add photos are still accessible for anyone on the internet so you want to make sure to keep your eyes open to ensure anything added by users reflects your business.
Large business owners with multiple locations can access a Business Profile Manager web application to make it easier to switch between different business listings. Though the only recognizable difference to this section at the moment is the name change from Google My Business to Google Business. Agencies and Businesses with multiple locations also have the ability to update their listing information through search and map applications. Though these changes don’t seem like much at the moment, we expect to see more changes coming down the pipeline.
The Google Business Profile updates didn’t just stop at how users interact with their profiles. You may start noticing the format of how the Local Pack is presented online has also changed. It used to be displayed with the Local Pack listings below the map, though now the listings are displayed to the left of the map.
Based on early research completed by a fellow SEO company Stirling Sky, businesses who stuffed their business name with keywords in their Google Profile listing are dropping in rankings. If this holds true moving forward, it will be a tremendous help in fighting against spam listings. By removing spam listings from the top of the ranks, businesses are better able to rank organically while following the guidelines set by Google. This also helps those of us who have been fighting against these spam listings.
Google has also just completed a major algorithm update in regards to one of the three core ranking factors: proximity. This can greatly affect Google Business Profile rankings as you may notice a drop in rankings in areas further from your actual location. There is no word yet how this may affect service area businesses. This particular part of the update can have both positives and negatives depending on your business and rankings. For businesses with competitors located further away ranking above them in a certain area, this can be a great change and help that business rank higher within its vicinity. However, it can also be negative by decreasing the size of your local rank areas. This is something you want to keep your eyes on to determine not only how your business is affected but also what you need to do to update your strategy for best results in reaching your goals.
Since these changes are still new, it’s difficult to predict exactly what the implications of these will be on marketing and search engine optimization strategy efforts. At the moment, the majority of these updates seem to be more about making it easier for users affiliated with businesses to access their listing and keep it up-to-date and may not require any major updates in strategy – assuming your strategy follows Google’s guidelines. The biggest update that may greatly affect your strategy would be with the newest algorithm update – Vicinity. With this update, you will need to determine how to update your strategy to increase your ranking outside of your immediate vicinity.
When it comes to Google Updates, it’s important to adapt your strategic efforts accordingly. Keeping up with these changes can be difficult for business owners, along with all of their existing responsibilities. Luckily, there are digital marketing experts who can keep up with these changes and manage your digital marketing strategy for you.
Connectica is a full service digital marketing agency in South Florida. Our team manages everything from website design & development, search engine optimization, social media and more. Let the digital marketing experts take care of your strategy for you so that you can focus on what you do best. Get in touch with us today or learn more about all of our digital marketing services.