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Google Rolls Out Several Updates, Including Changes to GMB

Google Rolls Out Several Updates, Including Changes to GMB

It’s been an interesting month in the world of Google. At the beginning of June Google rolled out a Core Update. And along with that announcement, shared that another update will be rolling out in July.

Google’s Page Experience Update that has had SEOs and web developers working diligently to improve the Core Web Vitals scores started rolling on June 15. Google said it’s rolling out slowly and will continue through August.

And last week, Google confirms they have rolled out a Spam Algorithm Update.

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What Does This Mean for Local Businesses and SEO?

With a Core Update, it’s always a wait-and-watch type situation. This update could help the business’ website to appear more often in search – or it can hurt it. This is one reason it’s so important to pay attention to your client’s websites, their rankings and traffic.

With the Page Experience Update, everyone is predicting that the impact will be minor. If the business’ website was performing well in search results before, most likely it will not be impacted.

Consider two competing pages on two different websites that are equal in content and quality. Which site gets the higher visibility? Most likely, the page with the better page experience will be the determining factor here.

The Spam Algorithm Update is to keep sites that have malware on them, or that employ strategies to try and place in search results by appearing highly relevant out of search results – when in fact they are placing now.

Also, just recently, Google seems to have grouped all their content policies related to search together.

Google Got Rid of Google My Business Short Names

In brief, Google got rid of short names in the Google My Business (GMB) listings. For those businesses that had already created short names, they are still there and functioning. For others, the feature is no longer available.

While some local marketers and agencies leveraged the use of short names to provide their clients an easier way to get more reviews from their customers, quite a few didn’t care either way.

share-gmb-profile-example

From the GMB dashboard, the business can still click “Share your business profile” and get a shortened link which will make it easier to share.

Featured Reviews Based on Place Topics in Google My Business Listings

Another change rolling out to GMB listings relates to Place Topics. It seems there could be a change coming to GMB. It’s been spotted that featured reviews are based on the most-mentioned Place Topics. We couldn’t recreate this with the few listings we checked. It could be a limited test, or still rolling out. Time will tell.

What Are Place Topics Within Google My Business?

Place Topics are automatically created within a business’ GMB listing based on the keywords within the reviews. Here’s an example from a listing we found that had the feature.

gmb place topics example

These topics work as a filter, allowing a user to read reviews that fall under a specific topic when clicked. Place Topics seems to be available only on mobile – and only available for listings with a larger amount of reviews.

As stated in Google My Business Help: “Place Topics uses data from your business’s reviews to provide topics based on concise information and keywords from what your customers highlight. Topics are only created when your business has enough customer reviews.”

The help doc advises that it’s extremely important for a business to flag abusive reviews since it can create abusive topics. Yet another reason that monitoring reviews is important.

Google Is Going to Continue to Make Updates – Are You Ready?

The fact is that Google will continue to make updates. As simple as ABC – Google My Business will always be changing. They’ll always be testing something.

The best thing you can do for your clients is this: pay attention to what’s happening in the world of Google, ensure you are fully managing their GMB listing (we have a GMB tool to make this easier) and maintain the information related to their business, such as business listings – our listing management solution will take care of this, too. Request a demo today and find out how!