GMB Updates (Now Google Maps) 2023

Ever since its inception, Google My Business has become one of the most important tools for dentists.

The tool focuses on increasing local SEO search visibility by showing your business in the right search results.

This process doesn’t take a lot of work, as Google’s system automatically does it for you.

GMB Updates

COVID-19 affected many businesses, including dental practices and Google. That’s why GMB is also impacted by this.

Taking this into account, Google has decided to update GMB’s features temporarily for better service. Here is an explanation of these GMB updates and the details of those updates.

GMB COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

With the latest update to GMB, there were a couple of features that were removed and also limited.

This means that you can’t now use some of Google My Business’s features and some others are available only with limited use. In addition, we know these updates to be only temporary and not permanent.

Removed GMB Features

  • Users now can’t post new reviews to the public. You can still make reviews and see them, but these reviews won’t be available for the public to see,
  • As a business owner, you now can’t answer the reviews on your business profile. You can’t also edit the previous replies you wrote,
  • Google removed the Q&A section completely from the profiles. Your visitors or patients now can’t see your Q&A or ask new questions on your profile for you to answer.

Limited GMB Features

  • Google is now putting health-related businesses on top of the important chain for adding, claiming, and verifying new listings. This doesn’t affect dental practices as they are health-related businesses. Other businesses will have delays in this.
  • They are also prioritizing health-related businesses in editing your business’s information. Again, this means that this doesn’t affect dental practices, but other businesses will see a delay.

Read: Why Your Dental Practice Needs a Strong Yelp Presence?

Also Read: Why Is Dental Website Accessibility Important?

Why Did Google Make These Changes?

Why Did Google Make These Changes

Because Google had to change how they work, they have limited resources available to work on the products. However, they still need to presume their services, especially critical ones.

That’s why Google is changing its focus from GMB to make sure that Google Search and Google Maps are working fine and reliably.

In addition, since the businesses are not working during their normal working hours or have limited staff, they can’t provide the same service to their customers.

This might cause false reviews and comments that affect the visibility of the business. It also helps businesses to not have to go through that.

Are These Changes Permanent?

From what we see from Google’s communication and these updates, these changes are not permanent.

They are only here temporarily because Google’s focus is shifting from GMB to more important areas and products. However, how long these changes will stay is a question mark.

We believe that it mostly depends on when the COVID-19 situation will go back to normal, and Google can have resources to cover each of their product.

Until then, it is expected for these changes to stay and keep seeing delays in the limited Google My Business features.

The delay times for features that are now limited are unknown for businesses that are not health-related.

Should You Worry About These Updates?

Should You Worry About These Updates

Many people now wonder whether these changes have some sort of long-term implication for your dental practice and local SEO.

As it currently stands, we don’t think there will be major implications for your local SEO efforts or directly for your dental practice.

As Google is prioritizing health businesses over others in their limited features, this shouldn’t have any major effect.

As for the removed features, since Google decided to remove them temporarily, it shouldn’t give your practice any damage.

As soon as the removed features come back and they resume like they previously did, everything should get back on track.

What’s Next?

Most of Google My Business’s important features are now either removed or limited. As a dental practice owner, you might wonder what will happen next.

The only thing you can do is sit back and wait until everything gets backs to normal.

Since dental practices are health business, you are still in priority if you were to make any changes to your Google My Business profile.

That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much as a dental practice, as this will probably have very little effect on you.

However, it’s good to keep an eye on the updates from Google itself to see when you can expect everything to get back to normal.

Also Read: What is the Average Salary of Dentist in USA?

The Verdict

Google My Business is important to every business’s local SEO and search visibility.

Because of COVID-19, there were some big changes to how this service works, and now businesses and dental practices need to adapt to them.

With these COVID-19 updates, Google removed some of the features from GMB and limited some others.

The good news is that even though they limited some of the features, they still prioritize health businesses in these limited features.

This means that your dental practice will not have any major effect like other businesses.

On top of this, we don’t expect any of your local SEO efforts to get hurt during these restrictions and removed GMB features.

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