NEW: Hours ‘Last Updated’ Notification Added to GMB Profiles
Google’s latest Google My Business (GMB) update comes as a win for businesses using local listing management tools to keep their business hours up-to-date. A couple of weeks ago, Google started displaying notices on GMB profiles notifying searchers of the last time the business hours were updated. Now it looks like these notifications are here to stay (for now), according to SEO expert, Greg Sterling, who confirmed, with Google, this update is not a test.
GMB is now displaying “updated by business”, notices under the business hours section of a GMB profile.
This update is meant to reassure consumers that the hours listed are accurate. In light of the pandemic, business hours have been fluctuating weekly causing consumers to lose trust in the accuracy of GMB profiles.
For businesses that haven’t updated their business hours recently, consumers will see the following alert on their listing:
The “hours or services may differ” alert made a permanent appearance on GMB profiles at the start of the pandemic. This new “updated by business” notice from Google seems to be a way for business owners to remove the “hours or services may differ” alert from their profile.
NOTICE: These alerts cannot be removed from the profile by the business. These are placed on all GMB profiles by Google.
What does this mean for local businesses?
Staying on top of your business hours is more important than ever, especially now that consumers will look for when the last time a business updated their hours. In fact, Yelp has been informing its users of hours updates since June.
When asked about the update, our Client Operations Manager, Jelena Arnold, warns businesses about the risk of not updating their hours regularly.
“This new field now exposes how often a business updates their information. It’s more important than ever to maintain accurate information during this time and if that last updated hours change is from too far in the past that could turn off some prospects.”
As many brands are reopening across the country, having accurate online information is vital to increasing foot-traffic to your locations. In our Road to Reopening report, we found that consumers are still unsure of the accuracy of online business hours. Our data shows, that even as businesses are reopening, calls to businesses are still rising as many consumers call to confirm hours before visiting.
We’re not sure if this update will last post-pandemic, but for now, businesses need to be sure they’re actively managing their local listing information. If you’re a multi-location business and need help updating all of your business hours, request a free brand audit to learn more about our local listing management services.