We are undoubtedly living in an era of change. The year 2020 has presented numerous hurdles in both our professional and personal lives, yet it has also brought to light the inevitable need for change. As we all continue to navigate through these atypical times, a company that has been diligent in shifting their technology to stay current is Google.
Over the past several months, Google has prioritized adding features and functionality for businesses to better communicate their services and offerings. The influx of attribute additions originally started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to communicate unique services businesses are offering related to social distancing. For example, local retailers can now prominently showcase if they offer curbside pickup, delivery, and in-store shopping on their listings. Similarly, restaurants can display whether they offer outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
No matter the vertical, it’s critical for all enterprise brands to continue to monitor the attributes available to them in Google My Business.
As Google continues to listen to what customers want to easily see when searching for a local business, the need for a yet another critical attribute rose to the surface: Blacked-owned business. The latest attribute comes on the heels of months of unrest following the death of George Floyd in May. Since then, many consumers have been eager to support black-owned businesses. Before this attribute was released, searchers had to do their due diligence to determine if a business was black-owned, asking their personal networks or searching a business’ website.
In this post, we will dive into a few questions we’ve received related to the new attribute, and its impact on the local search landscape.
Can the black-owned attribute be enabled within GMB?
Now businesses can easily highlight they are a black-owned business within their GMB listing. This was first made available within the GMB API on June 29, 2020. As of Thursday, July 30, businesses can also update this within the GMB user interface.
Where does the black-owned attribute appear on a listing?
Once a business enables the black-owned attribute, it will appear on their listing to searchers on both desktop and mobile. This attribute will appear under the Highlights section in the “About” tab. It also appears as an icon on mobile.
How does the black-owned attribute appear on desktop?
Here is an example of how the black-owned attribute appears on desktop.
How does the black-owned attribute appear on mobile?
Here is an example of how the black-owned attribute appears on mobile.
Why did Google release the black-owned attribute?
Jewel Burks, head of Google for Startups in the U.S. said in a recent announcement, “Our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most.” For more information on how Google plans to reach more black-owned businesses with digital skills and training, read the full article here.
In addition to black-owned, what other business attributes are available?
In 2018, Google released family-led, veteran-led, and women-led attributes. We encourage businesses to enable these attributes if applicable.
How does the black-owned attribute help local black-owned businesses?
There is nothing more powerful than support from your consumers. By highlighting that your business is black-owned you empower others to shop with your brand, which in turn strengthens local black economies, shines more of a light on the need for larger companies to add diversity to their workforce, shrinks the racial wealth gap, and brings well-deserved, positive attention to your leadership.
What other ways can I show I’m a black-owned business to searchers?
In addition to enabling the black-owned attribute within GMB, other opportunities to highlight this include:
- Local Pages: Add content to your individual location pages and include the phrase “black-owned business”. Here, you can also leverage schema markup to prompt the search engines to return relevant results any time a customer is looking for a black-owned business nearby.
- Google Reviews: It’s a best practice to monitor and respond to all your reviews, both positive and negative. For reviewers that leave any sentiments around your business being black-owned, respond and repurpose these reviews on your local pages under customer testimonials. Additionally, mentions of black-owned in your reviews will better help Google understand your business, prompting you to surface more often in searches related to this term.
- Yelp: Yelp announced in early June that it would allow businesses to identify themselves as black-owned. The label also acts as a search attribute, making the search process more seamless for users.
Stay Up To Date On All Things Local
We will continue to monitor new features and functionality Google releases. Changes are occurring frequently in this ever-changing landscape and we anticipate they will not slow down any time soon. We encourage you to work with your local marketing partner to stay informed of these new features as they become available. As always, we encourage you to check our resources page frequently as we share the latest updates related to all major search platforms on an ongoing basis.