We received an long anticipated and highly relevant email yesterday. It was from the GMB API team. It read; as a valued Google My Business API user, we want to alert you of several newly launched features that may be helpful to you and your customers throughout the duration of COVID-19. Google is worried about how accurate it local data is under these circumstances and is asking you to update your presence.
Use the GMB API to create Local Posts for Chain businesses
To help Chain businesses share timely updates at scale, Local Posts via the GMB API will be available for a limited time. Local Posts made by Chains may only be used to report updates relevant to COVID-19. Learn more about how to use Local Posts via the API. The Local Post will appear on Google Maps and Search after these steps are completed.
Use attributes for restaurants to highlight dining options.
To help food business owners communicate their dining options to customers, we’re introducing new dining attributes. Currently restaurant merchants can add or edit their Business Profile to include “Dine-in,” “Takeout,” and “Delivery,” and in the coming weeks “Curbside pickup” can be added to their Business profile.
So the news is that currently, dining attributes such as “Dine-in,” “Takeout,” and “Delivery” are promoted at the top of Business Profiles. This will impact Local SEO as well as we expect Google to prefer the serve impressions on local listings that it knows are relevant in these times.
Additional Features to be launched
In the coming weeks, additional attributes will roll out to all Business Profiles. For example, shopping attributes such as “Delivery” and “Pickup” as well as dining attributes such “Curbside pickup” and “No-contact Delivery” will become available. These new business operations will prominently appear on merchants’ Business Profiles on Google Maps and Google Search results when customers search for your business. Supported attributes will have a “✓” and non-supported attributes will have an “X”. Some attributes are available now and others will appear across Google Desktop and Mobile surfaces early next week. Please make sure to keep attributes up to date. Attributes are prominently displayed to inform customers of what services are available.
For more information on how we can support your local presence online, please read our Local Search support page. Or, if you need some support to implement the new Google My Business COVID-19 features, feel free to reach out via the contact form.