Google My Business 2019 Changes, Upgrades and Tests


Google My Business

If you’re a business owner, especially those in the real world, Google My Business (GMB) has become the front-end center of the digital universe and is an important ingredient not just for SEO but also for helping you connect better with customers across Google search and maps.

If your business doesn’t have a GMB account you’re seriously behind the 8-ball and you’re losing plenty of leads and sales. Google my business is FREE and is super easy to get started.

Simply sign up and verify your business on Google to get the ball rolling.

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. If you verify and edit your business information, you can both help customers find your business and tell them your story.

Benefits of Google My Business:

  1. Manage the information that Google users find when they search for your business or the products and services that you offer.
  2. Read and respond to reviews from your customers, and post photos that show off what you do.
  3. Find insights on how customers searched for your business, and where those customers are coming from.
  4. Customers can call or book straight from your business listing.
  5. Share an offer directly to your followers to show how much you appreciate their loyalty.
  6. Ability to turn your listing into a website, with Google My Business website builder.
  7. Helps with your Local SEO Strategy.

2019 List of Google My Business Changes and Upgrades

Below is a summary of most (though not all) of the GMB updates and changes that happened this year, together with a few that don’t strictly belong to GMB.

January: Messaging, SAB flow, virtual office rules

  • Google started emphasizing messaging in the GMB profile — although it compelled business owners and agencies to message exclusively through the Google My Business app — following its abandonment of SMS-based messaging.
  • The company introduced a new sign-up flow for service-areas businesses. It starts with a question about whether the business has a store or office. If the answer is no, it sends the user down a SAB-specific path.
  • Google also provided guidance surrounding who is eligible to create a GMB page for a virtual office. In particular, there must be on-site staffing.

February: Map reviews, AR directions, join the waitlist

March: Duplex rollout, Core update, and SAB addresses disappear

April: Assistant local results, GMB paid services survey

  • Business listings appearing in Google Assistant or Google Home search results are being drawn from Google Guaranteed listings or listings certified by partners Porch or HomeAdvisor. But they’re not ads.
  • Google Posts started enabling businesses to promote reviews and testimonials, presented as “suggested Posts.”
  • Google also surveyed small business owners about their appetite to pay monthly subscription fees for a number of potential Google My Business (GMB) enhanced features and services. This drew a very mixed reaction from the local SEO community.

May: Popular dishes, food ordering, and CallJoy

June: Mapspam and Shortnames

July: Get a quote and place topics

  • A “get a quote” button started appearing in local Knowledge Panels for some businesses that opted-in to GMB messaging. It showed up in mobile and on the PC as well. (A related feature appears in December.)
  • Google tested “place topics,” which are tags, themes or keywords extracted through machine learning from user reviews. They only appear when there are enough user reviews, under the reviews tab on the GMB profile.

August: Carousel pack, bulk reviews, Google Screened

September: Post highlights, food ordering opt-out

October: Search by photos, Incognito Mode for Maps

  • Google showed users a new option to “search by photos” in mobile results. They appear as a module in the SERP that opens to a larger page of images with star ratings.
  • Google implemented a number of promised privacy controls for users. These included Incognito Mode for Google Maps, voice control to delete Google Assistant search activity and auto-delete for YouTube history.

November: Local algorithm update, follow local guides, no more phone support

December: Review carousels, auto-Posts, choose area


Beau Buckley

Beau Buckley

I'm a digital marketing expert, the founder of Revolucion One and SEO Services London. I've personally been making money online since 2009, so when it comes to generating more leads and sales for your business, I'm your go-to expert.

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