Google is tightening the belt on local businesses. And if you’re not careful, people searching for you could be led to believe you’re closed or out of business, entirely.
Earlier this month Google announced that inactive Google “My Business” accounts may become unverified. Now a recent Maps update for Android could tell customers your business is closed if you don’t update your store hours.
The most recent update to Maps includes a new notification that will tell users whether the location they are seeking is opened or closed. What’s more, Maps will also tell users if a location is likely going to be closed at their estimated arrival, even if it is open when they initially search for it.
For example, if a customer looks up your store’s location 20 minutes before it closes, but Maps estimates it will take 30 minutes for them to arrive, a notification will pop up warning them their destination probably won’t be open when they get there.
It’s just one more motivation for local business owners to keep their information updated on their Google My Business account. Missing out on sales because customers don’t know your correct store hours is not something any business owner wants.
In Google’s previous announcement about inactive My Business accounts the company stated the changes they’ve been making are to provide the best possible experience for users looking for information on local businesses.
Keeping My Business account information updated may be one more thing for busy local business owners to keep track of, but it’s an effort that could be well worth it.