Changes Amidst COVID-19 to Google My Business Law Firms Should Know About

Over the past 4 weeks, we have seen pretty consistent changes and issues with Google My Business. Some of the features that stopped are now coming back, while other issues still persist. Let’s go through each feature and what is happening currently with them.

Google Reviews, QA, and more

New reviews were blocked a few weeks ago. They have begun to function again and people are seeing them beginning to appear on listings now. Google has updated their page to state the following:

Review replies are now available. New user reviews, new user photos, new short names, and Q&A will gradually return by country and business category.

So while we have seen reviews start-up in some business categories they have not returned to all of them within the United States but should be fully functional again soon.

This as you can see in the Google statement also applies to user photos, profile short names, and Q&A features. So if you have not seen any action on these or have had issues adding to or editing any of these areas do not worry it is to be expected currently.

Google My Business Profile Edits

At this time we recommend you do not try to do any updates or changes to your listing. We are seeing edits sit pending for weeks on end right now. Google has prioritized reviews of edits for health-related businesses currently.

They say they will also prioritize reviews for open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes edits for other verified businesses but these are some of the areas we are seeing things sit pending review for longer periods of time.

Google Posts

These were disabled for some businesses for a short period but now seem to be working again. If you have edits you wanted to apply via your profile but they are sitting in pending review as mentioned above we recommend you leverage a Google Post to publish that information out to your profile.

They have also created a new post type. COVID-19 update posts they state will be featured more prominently within your business profile. So you might try these for changes to your hours or contact details. These are staying up on the profile for 14 days currently.

New listings, claiming, and verification

If you are setting up a new listing, trying to claim one or verify a listing you should expect delays. Like many other areas, Google is prioritizing this for health-related businesses at this time. If you do not have access to a GMB profile to do hours and other updates we highly recommend you get these added prominently to your law firm website.

Hours of operation

If you are open in some capacity we recommend you input your special hours if you have access to your profile. This will remove the little alert showing up saying hours may vary due to COVID-19.

Google My Business COVID-19 Guidance

You can find updates and resources and other guidance from Google on this page

https://support.google.com/business/answer/9773423

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