Google Maps ‘Live Busyness’ Feature and Other Need-To-Know Updates From Google’s Search On 2020 Event



Last week, while Chatmeter hosted its own virtual event, Pulse 2020, Google announced some major updates during its Search On 2020 event on October 15th. Here is a look at the updates and new features coming to Google that will make the biggest impact for local businesses. 


Sharing Data, Visually

One interesting new Google update is the ability to create featured snippet graphs. This is done by aggregating data from a variety of sources and presenting it in a visual and easy to comprehend graph.


Source: Google


Providing Better Answers

Google is always looking for ways to provide better answers. Whether it’s typos, or niche questions, Google is doing more to return the best possible results for each search. The search engine already does a pretty good job at interpreting typos but now, it’s going to be better at interpreting the context of the misspelled query. 


When it comes to niche questions, Google is offering answers that may come from further down the page. Now Google is able to provide answers to specific questions from sites like forums which may have the answer nestled three-quarters of the way down the page. Additionally, if the answer can be found in a video, Google uses speech recognition to identify where in the video the answer lies. 


Source: Google


Immersive Shopping Experiences

Searchers can now get more out of their shopping experience by using features like AR view and relevant product searches. Next month, users will be able to long-tap on any image to find related products. Users can also test out the new AR function to see what vehicles will look like in different colors, interiors, or even in their own driveway.


Source: Google


Google Maps Live View

Google Maps now offers even more live insights on businesses. When you’re searching for a business in Google Maps, you can now get real-time information about how busy it is. Or leverage the AR function and point your camera to get ‘busyness’ insight on a place or business.


Source: Google


This busyness update may be in response to the fact that businesses reported their live wait times were wrong in Google. For example, Google My Business would report that a restaurant would have a 2-hour wait time at 3pm on a Tuesday. 


Google shared details about the new busyness update in a recent blog post, “to make our systems more nimble, we began favoring more recent data from the previous four to six weeks to quickly adapt to changing patterns for popular times and live busyness information–with plans to bring a similar approach to other features like wait times soon.” Hopefully, this latest Google Maps live view update will help to resolve the issue of inaccurate wait times. 


The best way to get ahead of new Google Maps updates like these is to stay on top of your local business listings. Keeping the information accurate, up-to-date, and relevant can help make sure you’re prepared for any new update to Google Maps.


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