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Google My Business is officially gone as the GMB mobile app has finally stopped functioning.

Now, instead of being able to edit your local listing, see your insights, or respond to customers, business operators will only see a short message reading “the Google My Business app is no longer available” if you open the app.

Google My Business shutdown notice

Of course, the shutdown of the GMB app is not sudden. The company announced it would be discontinuing the app when it revealed it was rebranding local business listings to Google Business Profiles.

Thankfully, you do have other options if you have still been using the GMB app to manage your listing. 

Along with being able to update your listing through Google Search, you can also manage your listing through the Google Maps app. 

With this, Google has finally eliminated the final remaining artifact from Google My Business in favor of allowing businesses to manage their listings directly within Google Search and the existing Google Maps app for a more seamless experience. Though not explicitly stated, the goal seems to be simplifying managing your local SEO without the need for an entirely separate platform like GMB.

Google Business Profiles (previously known as Google My Business) are a crucial part of any brand’s online presence. Not only does it control how your company appears in local search results, but it also powers Google Maps listings.

So how does Google balance keeping these local listings easily accessible for business owners without leaving listings vulnerable to manipulation or outright fraud?

The search engine explained how it combined everything from its search algorithms and machine learning tools to human reviews to block more than 100 million abusive business profile updates last year. 

Thanks to this approach, the company believes that less than 1% of the content viewed through Google Business Profiles and Google Maps was fraudulent or abusive in 2021. 

How Google Fights Business Profiles Spam

Over the course of 2021, Google says it blocked over 100 million abusive or fraudulent edits to Google Business Profiles. This includes a wide range of activities, including creating fake business listings, fraudulent or abusive reviews, or attempts to hijack business listings. 

Here’s the breakdown of the types of actions taken by Google to fight Google Business Profile abuse:

  • Removed over 7 million fake Business Profiles on Google Maps. Google said more than 630,000 of those Business Profiles were removed through user reports.
  • Prevented 12 million attempts to create fake Business Profiles on Google Maps.
  • Stopped 8 million fraudulent attempts to claim Business Profiles on Google Maps.
  • Disabled over 1 million accounts due to policy-violating activity, such as online vandalism or fraud.
  • Removed or blocked 95 million policy-violating reviews, over 60,000 of which were taken down due to COVID-related instances.
  • 1 million reviews were taken down through user reports.
  • Blocked or removed 190 million photos and 5 million videos that were blurry, low quality, or violated Google’s content policies.

Can Google Make Up For Past Mistakes?

Historically, Google has struggled to prevent misuse or manipulative behavior across its local business listings. There are countless horror stories easily found online from businesses that had their listing stolen from them, vandalized by the competition, or brought down by fraudulent reviews.

Hopefully, with actions like these, the platform can continue to undo this legacy and provide a reliable platform for both users and the businesses included.

Google Business Profiles (formerly called Google My Business) has added a new waiting period for new profile managers or owners when they have been added to an account.

If you try to edit your business listing during this period, users will get an error message alerting them that their access is temporarily suspended.

This new information was discovered in the recently updated help guide for adding or removing profile managers or owners,

A single person – typically the business owner or an executive responsible for a brand’s online presence – can “claim” their Google Business Profiles listing to become the primary user without experiencing the delay. 

However, if you then add an employee or marketing agency to manage your listing, they will be required to wait 7 days before they will be granted full access to the account. 

As the new help document explains:

When a new owner or manager is added to an existing Business Profile, they must wait for 7 days before they can manage all the features of the profile. During this 7 day period, the new owner or manager gets an error if they try any of the following:

  • Delete or undelete a profile.
  • Remove other owners or managers from a profile.
  • Transfer primary ownership of a profile to themselves or a third user.
  • An existing owner or manager tries to transfer primary ownership of the profile to a new owner or manager still in their first 7 days.

If the new owner or manager deletes their account within the first 7 days, they’re removed from the profile. If they undelete their account, they must be added to the profile again.

Most likely, this temporary delay has been added as a means to prevent hackers or other bad actors from attempting to illicitly access Google Business Profiles accounts.

Say goodbye to “Google My Business” and say hello to “Google Business Profiles” as the search engine streamlines its tools for businesses.

Though much will stay the same for businesses listing their services on Google, the rename marks some significant changes – such as where and how your businesses can claim their profile. Starting now, your brand can claim its profile directly from either Google Search or Google Maps.

Below, we will talk a bit more in-depth about how you can claim your listing and what this means for existing listings.

How to Claim a Google Business Profile

When signed into the Google account associated with your business, the fastest way to claim your listing is to simply search for your business name. 

This will bring you to a prompt that will allow you to verify your listing or challenge someone who has already made a claim for your listing. 

Once claimed and verified, you will be able to edit any information shown and add additional details like photos, videos, unique services, and Google Posts.

Is Anything Else Changing?

For the most part, everything else is staying the same regarding local business listings on Google. Their appearance will stay the same, as will the optimization methods to ensure your business appears for relevant searches. 

What will change is where you are editing this information. 

For example, the search engine says it is no longer necessary to use the specific Google My Business website or app to update your listing.

The app will be phased out in early 2022, though you can still use the website if you are managing multiple listings. It will simply be renamed to “Google Business Profile Manager.”

For now, this is all the news we have about the relaunch of Google My Business and Google Business Profiles. More info will be coming in the coming months as the relaunch rolls out.

It is well known that business listings on sites like Google My Business or Yelp are an important part of connecting modern consumers with local businesses in their time of need, but you might not realize just how essential they are. 

A survey recently conducted by BrightLocal makes it perfectly clear, showing that 94% of consumers use business listings websites to find local businesses and more. 

Below, I’ll be breaking down some of the most interesting findings from the study:

Why Do Consumers Use Business Listings?

After showing that nearly all consumers (94%) have used business information websites in the past year, the survey asked what the respondents had been hoping to achieve. 

They found that most had multiple reasons for searching business listings, but most were driven to specifically connect with brands they’d never done business with before.

Specifically, the results showed that 66% of consumers used business information sites to find new businesses, while 66% found information on businesses they were already aware of but hadn’t used.

Meanwhile, less than half (48%) used local business listings to find information about businesses they had already used before.

Which Business Listing Platforms Do People Use?

Out of more than 20 options, the results showed that the vast majority of people used a small handful of sites to find information about local businesses.

Unsurprisingly, Google led with 89% of consumers using the service to find a local business at least once in the past 12 months

For comparison, Facebook followed with 48% of respondents using the platform for local business information

It should be noted that in many cases, a platform like Yahoo may be using another service’s search engine – such as the case with Bing. Though only 15% of users directly used Microsoft’s search engine to find local businesses, more than a quarter (28%) used platforms powered by Bing.

Additionally, the reason popular platforms like TripAdvisor or Waze don’t appear high on the list is likely that they focus on one niche, unlike Google or Facebook.

Wrong Information Is Rampant

It should be obvious that your listings need to be accurate for a number of reasons. Not only is important for potential customers to be able to actually find the businesses that offer the products or services they need, but local listings serve as powerful SEO signals as well. 

This is why it is rather surprising that most consumers say they have encountered incorrect information in business listings in the past year. 

According to the report, 85% of consumers found incorrect or incomplete information on a business listing in the last year, and 77% saw conflicting information on a business across different online directories.

Wrong Information Loses You Business

To make it clear how directly inaccurate information on your listings affects your business, 63% of consumers say that finding incorrect information on a business listing would stop them from using that business

That is more than half of your potential new customers gone because your phone number, hours, address, or other basic information are wrong online. 

How Covid Impacted Local Listings

It has to be noted that online local business listings have taken on a new level of importance over the past year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Quickly changing business practices, new safety measures, shifting hours, made it necessary for consumers to check online before going to any business – even ones they’ve been to dozens of times. 

For example, 74% of consumers used local listings to see what Covid-19 safety measures brands had put in place.

Unfortunately, brands didn’t always keep up their side of the bargain by updating their listings as things changes. Based on this survey’s responses, 81% of consumers visited a business that said online it was open, but that was actually closed due to the pandemic.


As the study shows, you don’t need to have your business listed on every site out there. Instead, it is better to focus on keeping your information accurate on every directory your business is on – even if you are only on a handful of local business information sites.

For more information, including additional findings methodology, and further analysis, check out the full report from BrightLocal here.

Wish the process of updating your Google My Business listings was a little more streamlined? Well, your wish has been granted as Google has made it possible to edit much of the information in your local listing without ever having to visit a dedicated dashboard or profile page. 

Since last year, Google has been introducing the ability to edit your business listings directly from the search results or map pages, and the latest move brings that ability to all businesses – as well as expanding what type of information can be updated this way.

Now, rather than just updating your address and basic information, you can edit your services and hours, implement takeout or delivery tools, and even create Google Posts without having to access the Google My Business dashboard. 

To help understand everything possible without leaving the search results pages, let’s review exactly what parts of your listings you can now edit directly from the search results.

Add/Edit Your Services

Businesses providing local services (such as hair stylists, plumbers/electricians, and lawn care companies) can quickly update the services they offer on their GMB listings, as well as the local areas covered. 

Create Google Posts

In a bid to raise the awareness of Google Posts and make them more accessible for brands, Google will now let you create and publish new Posts directly from the search results. 

Even better, the company is introducing the ability to create posts specifically for highlighting upcoming events which will be available to brands next week. 

With these posts, you can show what type of event you are putting on, when/where it is occurring, and whether it is in-person or entirely virtual. 

Manage Takeout & Delivery Services

While Google My Business has allowed brands to integrate takeout and delivery tools through third-party services for some time, this typically required manually integrating the services through the Google My Business dashboard. 

In the coming weeks, however, businesses providing takeout and delivery services will be able to directly add or update your online ordering options from Google Search, including specifying whether your brand’s takeout/delivery preferences help customers make the most informed decision. 

To top this off, GMB is also letting restaurants and other food providers update their menus from search or maps by clicking ‘Edit profile’.

Implement Pointy To Highlight Your Physical Products

Retailers will be excited to see that it is easier than ever to add in-store product inventory info on their Google My Business listings through improved integration with Pointy. 

Pointy is a Google-owned service which aims to help you digitize your in-store inventory listings without having to manually update every product listing. 

Importantly, Pointy is also free for all businesses now until September 30, making now perhaps the best time in history to take your inventory online. 


To update any of these listings, simply sign into your associated Google account and make a search for any query that will return your local business listing. Then, click “Edit profile’ on your business listing and update any information you desire.

Google My Business is finally giving businesses a little more information and control over their reviews with a new tool available here.

Through the tool, business owners or managers can view reviews, submit a request to remove misleading or problematic reviews, and check the status of takedown requests for these reviews.

How To Use The New Google My Business Review Tool

Rather than being built into the Google My Business dashboard, the tool is available through the GMB Help Center.

To get started, simply sign into the Google account related to your business and go to the help page. 

From there, select whether you want to check the status of a review or file a new report for a problematic review.

If you wish to submit a new takedown request, Google My Business will pull a list of your recent reviews which can be viewed and reported within the tool.

If you are simply checking the status of a past takedown request, the tool will show all your most recent requests along with information about the status of the request.

If you select a review, you can also get more in-depth information about the review and request. You can also submit an appeal from here if you believe a request has been improperly denied.

Only Available For Small Accounts

At this point, it appears the tool is only available for accounts with just a few Google My Business listings. Several SEO specialists who manage dozens or even hundreds of listings say they have received a message stating “Based on the number of Business Profiles you manage, this process is not available” when attempting to use the tool. It is unclear if or when GMB plans to expand the tool for larger accounts.

Google My Business is expanding its performance report for business listings with a new breakdown of how people are finding your listing.

The new analytics section details whether people are coming to your listing using either a mobile or desktop device, as well as if they found you through Google Search or Maps.

How To Find The New Report

To access the report for your listing, first sign in and select which location or business you are wanting to assess. Then, select the Insights tab on the left. On this page, you’ll find the new performance reports available directly at the top.

Below, you can see an example of the report shared by Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Roundtable.

Within the performance report, you’ll find a section explaining “How people discovered you.”

On one side of the report, you’ll see the “People who viewed your business profile” section, while the right column shows the specific searches being used to find your page.

Learning More About Device and Source Reports

To coincide with the launch of these reports, Google has updated its help documents to add a section explaining the “users who viewed your profile” data.

As the document explains:

“A user can be counted a limited number of times if they visit your Business Profile on multiple devices and platforms such as desktop or mobile and Google Maps or Google Search. Per breakdown device and platform, a user can only be counted once a day. Multiple daily visits aren’t counted. “

There are also a few important details to keep in mind when viewing the report:

  • Since this metric represents the number of unique users, it may be lower than the number of views you find on Google My Business and in email notifications. 
  • Since the metric focuses on views of the Business Profile, as opposed to overall views of the Business on Google, it may also be lower than the number of views you find on Google My Business and in email notifications.

Insights like these help with not only improving your listings and optimization to perform more effectively in search results. They can also help understand your customers and their specific needs or behaviors which may, in turn, allow you to provide better service for them.

Google My Business has officially launched a new label that highlights the number of years you’ve been in business within local search results.

The “years in business” label has been in testing over the past few years, and was quietly launched officially on February 9th, 2021.

While it is just a small label added to your listing, this could prove to be a significant way to differentiate yourself in the crowded “local pack” search results.

As Google put it in the announcement, you can now “add an opening date to your Business Profile to tell customers when your business first opened, or will open, and its address.”

To get an idea of what the label looks like, Barry Schwartz from RustyBrick (and who first noticed the launch of the label) took a screenshot of his own business listing with the new tag.

Source: Barry Scwhartz/RustyBrick, Inc.

How To Get The ‘Years in Business’ Tag

Adding this label to your own Google My Business listing is relatively simple. All you have to do is add the open date of your business within your GMB profile. 

To do this, just sign into your GMB account, click the location you want to update, then select the “info” option in the menu. From there, click “add opening date”, update with your own date you opened up shop, and voila. The label should be added to your local listing within the next few days.

“I’ve Been Seeing This Label For Months”

Many might have noticed that Google has been slowly adding this label to many of the listings which are eligible over the past year. Users first spotted the tag way back in September of 2020, with a larger roll out done in November.

Still, this week marks the official launch of the feature for all Google My Business listings.

How This Helps You

Thanks to bad actors listing non-existent or questionable businesses within Google My Business, it has become more important than ever to visibly show that you are a real, active, and trustworthy business within your listing.

This feature allows you to quickly do this by showing you have been a part of your community for years – if not decades – and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Google My Business is an essential tool for any local business trying to spread their name online. It is also deceptively complicated. 

At first glance, GMB seems very simple and easy to set up. You just fill out a few forms, answer a few questions, upload a couple of pictures,, and presto! You’ve got a GMB listing. 

Actually optimizing that listing to ensure it appears in nearby customers’ searches, however, is where things get complicated. 

As usual, Google is remarkably non-transparent about how it ranks local searches.There are a few things that have become very apparent over the years. It is pretty much undeniable that having a lot of 5 star reviews will help you rank better. On the other hand, there is reason to believe some sections have absolutely no impact on your local rankings. To get to the truth of how the algorithm works, we have to look at data from tests.

Recently, MozCon speaker Joy Hawkins shared some findings her and her team have made from their own tests and data about what GMB sections help you rank better.

Which Google My Business Sections Affect Rankings

1) Business Name

Sometimes the simplest things can become unbelievably complicated. You almost certainly chose your business name well before making a listing, and you can’t exactly change it now. 

Unfortunately, this puts some businesses at a disadvantage while others get a natural step up. 

According to Hawkins, businesses with a keyword in their name get a boost in local rankings. There is one things you can do though.

As she explains:

“The real action item would be to kind of look to see if your competitors are taking advantage of this by adding descriptive words into their business name and then submitting corrections to Google for it, because it is against the guidelines.”

2) Categories

This is another section that seems like it should be very simple. You can check up to 10 boxes that match your business, including everything from Aboriginal Art Gallery to Zoo. Where this becomes tricky is ensuring the categories you choose remains the most accurate for your business. 

Hawkins’ team found that Google is updating it’s list of categories between 2 to 10 times each month on average. In some cases, they are adding new categories that may be a more specific match for your business. Other times, they may entirely remove categories they feel are irrelevant or unnecessary. 

Either way, it is up to you to keep your business categorized properly to protect your ranking.

3) Website

The vast majority of listings use the homepage of their website as their primary website listing on everything, including Google My Business. It makes sense, and it works perfectly fine. 

What Hawkins’ found, though, is that some businesses actually benefit from choosing a more specific page of their site. For example, businesses with multiple locations can link to a specific location page to specify exactly which store you are directing them to. 

In this section, there is no agreed upon best practice. Instead, Hawkins says to test several pages over time to ensure you are maximizing your exposure. 

4) Reviews

I mentioned it up above but it bears repeating. The number of positive reviews absolutely affects your ranking in local search results. 

There is a small catch, however. According to the what Hawkins’ team has seen, increasing the number of reviews on your listing may have diminishing returns.

“So for example, if you’re a business and you go from having no reviews to, let’s say, 20 or 30 reviews, you might start to see your business rank further away from your office, which is great. But if you go from, let’s say, 30 to 70, you may not see the same lift. So that’s something to kind of keep in mind.”

Still, reviews have consistently been shown to be a major ranking factor AND they improve the click-through-rate of listings. This is obviously an area you will want to invest some energy in. 

If you want to learn a little more about how these sections impact your rankings or you want to see which fields have absolutely no effect, you can read Joy Hawkins’ original post here.