Google has released some changes to Google Local and Maps this week including changes to short names, a new on Google label in the search results, testing an updated layout to the local business profile cards on mobile and more. Here is what is new with Google Maps and Local this week.
Google My Business short names going away?
Google updated the Google help document for short names use in Google My Business. It now says “you can no longer create or edit short names. Short names and URLs that already exist will still work.”
Google added short names to local businesses back in 2019 with the purpose of giving these small businesses an easy way to communicate to customers on how to look up their business on Google to leave a review and drop in some user generated photos. But it seems due to lack of use, Google will stop allowing businesses from creating those short names or editing it and who knows, maybe it will go away all together in the future.
Short names are in the format of g.page/[yourcustomname].
New on Google label
If you search for local results on Google Search or on Google Maps, you may see that some of the local listings have a label that reads “New on Google.” The New on Google label seems to have started rolling out a couple of days ago and shows up for business that were added to Google My Business within a 60 day period.
Here is a screen shot of this “New on Google” label with a blue megaphone icon next to it:
Google tests new mobile local business profile cards
Amy Toman shared some screenshots and videos of some user layouts and features Google is testing for the local business profile listings in Google Search. She shared these changes on Twitter, which I will embed below so you can see them:
Google Assistant app to create you Google My Business listing
There is a new Google Assistant app, from Google, for Italian businesses to use their voice and Google Assistant to create their business listing for the first time in Google My Business. All you need to do is say “Hey Google, bring my business online” and Google will help you set up your business in Google My Business using your voice.
Here is the Google Assistant app, again, it is currently only active in Italy.
Why we care. You think Google tests new things, features, interfaces and algorithms a lot in Google Search? You should track what Google is testing with Google Maps and Google Local. The pass of innovation in the local search space seems way more hyperactive than anywhere else at this point in time.
If your business is local focused, you should stay on top of these changes and leverage any new local offerings that might give you a competitive edge over your friendly business neighbors.