Last week we looked at the key role that prominence plays in local search pack visibility. This week we’re focusing on reducing the risk of bad data from Google’s new machine learning auto-updates.
Google Will Start Predicting Business Hours Using AI and Machine Learning
As a refresher, Google recently shared how they will begin using their AI and machine learning to update the business hours for local businesses on their Google Business Profiles (GBP). Yes, a self-updating map is here.
So this is just a small update, right? Absolutely not, as according to Google there will be an estimated 20 million businesses due to see their business hours automatically adjusted within the next six months.
Mike Blumenthal addressed this last week on the Local U podcast, sharing tips on how businesses can prevent Google’s AI from making these updates.
Best Ways to Avoid Google’s Automated Updates on a Google Business Profile
- Make sure the business hours are correct on the business’ website.
- Keep the hours updated on the GBP, including times when the business will be closed for holidays.
- Ensure citations and directory listings on other sites have the correct business information and business hours.
We agree totally with Mike’s tips. As a business listing management company that makes it easy to keep the information on these sites accurate and updated, you can see why we might be partial to them.
For proof of the value of these tips, you need only look at Google themselves. In the announcement for the self-updating map, Google made it clear that their systems analyze when the business profile was last updated and the hours the business website lists. Therefore, by simply following the three steps, there will be no reason for Google’s algorithms to intervene.
Directory Listings Have More Influence Than You May Think
While directory listings don’t have the same amount of influence they did years ago in SERPS (search engine results pages), they still hold quite a bit of influence. Yes, consumers trust them, and Google trusts them as well.
We actually shared an example of bad data and showed how it was impacting a business’ GBP. The business’ issue was tied to the directory listings reflecting bad data. As a response to this, Google kept changing the business’ address to an old address. This example alone demonstrates that Google trusts business listings as a data source.
Taking the steps above that Mike has recommended is a good start. Another way to ensure Google is fully aware that a business’ Google Business Profile is accurate (and doesn’t require the help of their AI) is to use the other features available within the Google Business Profile. These elements include GBP posts, questions and answers and more.
Auto-Reject GBP Public Updates Through the Advice Local Dashboard
In addition, we recommend that partners use the feature available to them within the Advice Local partner dashboard to auto-reject public edits to a business’ GBP. Using this feature will help you ensure that others cannot make edits to your clients’ Google Business Profiles that are not accurate.
Listing Management Can Help
Not only does our dashboard enable you to auto-reject public edits, it also provides a Google Authority Score, online visibility reports and much more. To get started, request a demo today or call (214) 310-1356 to learn more.