2018 Google Recap

Wow! 2018 was a whirlwind for Google My Business (GMB). So much changed within the year that the number of fully optimized Google My Business decreased by over 30%. This means if you are not continually paying attention to your Google listing you could be missing an opportunity to be found. Did you know that if you do not have a Google My Business listing you are losing 100% of keyword searches! Can your business afford that? So, keep reading to learn about all the changes Google has made within the past year.

January

Google released the ability to upload videos to your Google My Business Dashboard. These 30-second videos are a great way to grab your customer and client’s attention. You can use these for example as a commercial or introduction to your company. Either way, it’s a home run when we live in such a fast-paced society.

They also gave you the ability to see who was driving to your business by zip code. You can track where your customers/clients are coming from and where your presence is established or may need some help.

February

Opening Date in Google My Business shows up. This gives strength to your already established business.

Another huge leap in February gave malls the ability to show a directory within their GMB page on mobile.

Restaurants are now able to add menu items directly into your Google My Business!

March

Google added highlights to GMB and the first one was Women-led.

There was an algorithm update this month also which impacted both organic and local ranking. If you were paying attention Google was starting to really clean up their search engine and gave GMB a facelift.

Business description and products posts took your GMB accounts up a notch with the ability to highlight products and tell the world who you are as a business.

April

Google really began watching for review gating. Review gating is allowing good reviews to come in while blocking the bad. At this point, Google began pointing out that your GMB should portray who you really are that included the good and the bad.

They are now restricting certain content such as guns, gambling, and alcohol. While this was a hard hit for liquor stores and casinos that were posting up to this point, they could still maintain their GMB listing.

May

Remember those 30-second videos you could start posting on your page in January. Well in May Google began accepting those videos on posts. This meant getting your 30-second videos out to the public weekly and it was directly in front of them without having to search through your GMB page. In addition to posting videos, Google also allowed businesses to add offers to their posting. Who doesn’t love a good coupon?

Two things happened with reviews this month. The first being Google took away anonymous reviews. If you wanted to leave a review you needed to have a Google account and your name would be posted.

The other great feature Google added was all those reviews you missed answering while running your business were now being sent to your email as a notification.

June

This month was a bit of a quieter month for Google but it doesn’t mean they weren’t working hard. They did launch performance cards in the GMB dashboard. When you logged on to your GMB account you got an idea of your insights immediately. This has been a great indicator of how your page is reaching your customers over the last 28 days.

July

A huge addition happened in July. Google gave us “Queries”, so we could know how our GMB listings are being found. Now I know if I am being found under the correct search engines or not.

This month also brought us the Call Button within posts. After reading a post a customer could call you directly with a click of a button instead of backing out of the posts to call your company.

Also, within posts are the events tab we know and love. This month Google upped their game. If you posted an event your event could pop up if someone typed in “Events Near Me.”

August

This month Google made it easier for our current potential customers to see our products. Now when posting a product, it had its own tab in the knowledge panel separate from posts. They also added a Veteran-led feature to highlights to tell your consumers more about your company.

September

Let’s talk about reviews again. In September Google made it easier for companies to edit replies to reviews. They can do this directly in their GMB knowledge panel now instead of logging into GMB. They also began allowing 1500 characters in a post, your post just went from a small ad to a blog.

October

Insights may have a looked a little different this month. Google added a new metric with branding. You could see how many people searched for your brand.

Products (Beta) showed up with some businesses this month. This is in Beta testing still, but this allows business to add a digital catalog of their products to their GMB.

Google also heard the cries of future companies and added a future opening date to the GMB listing. So, companies can get their future customers excited about their products/services before they even open their doors.

Another change, if you were not paying attention, is to your addresses. If you are a business who had their address hidden, then Google removed it completely. They also took away entering a radius and instead began asking for zip codes, town, and cities you service.

November

I am going, to be honest, this is a month that had me on the edge of my seat with one of the coolest updates to GMB, at least in my opinion. They added a follow button, that’s right folks your customers can follow you on GMB and when changes occur, a new event or you carry a new product/service it will alert your customers. Now the only downside is this is Only On Google Maps for Android right now.

Android users also are going to be in the know before anyone else about new places opening in their area. You may want to trade in that iPhone now for an Android or better yet, a Google Pixel 3.

December

Google added “Sold Here” to GMB pages when searching for a product. I am excited to see what they will do before in 2019. I do not see Google letting our excitement die with the new year.

Here at LGC Online Marketing, we want to help your business thrive. We are one of only 15 companies in the US that has access to an Advanced Online Analytic tool that can that can give you ongoing data well beyond the normal 90-day window of Google My Business Insights. We also can help with all your Social Media needs. Please drop us an email today to learn more. You can reach Sharon Miller, President of Legacy Global Consulting at sharon@legacyglobalco.com or directly at 317-385-2475.