Localworks Publisher Updates 04/27/2020

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Below we outline updates made to both Localworks and the business listings platforms which it serves as of 04/27/2020

Disclaimer: We always strive to keep you updated with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding Localworks and the platforms in which it connects to. Publishing platforms are constantly changing / updating their features and functionality. This may result in some of the information being outdated by the time it is published or seen on this site. Please check the official site for each publisher platform to get the most updated information on it.

 

General Practice

Best Practices and Special Notes:
Please refrain from making modifications to your business name, unless your storefront name has in fact changed due to the recent events. It is NOT a best practice to change your business name to something like “TEMPORARILY CLOSED,” “COVID-19 Testing,” or “Available for Take out and Delivery.” Google and other publishers have warned that this will likely trigger listings to be suspended.

 

Localworks Platform Updates

New! Reopen date field supporting all Localworks managed products:
Temporarily Closed/Reopen Date: The Temporarily Closed (aka “reopen date”) field is now available in the Knowledge Graph, allowing you to easily mark your locations as Temporarily Closed on Listings, Pages, and Answers.

 

Google Platforms

New Listings Fields for Health Systems

COVID-19 & Telehealth: To make healthcare information more accessible through Google search, Google added two new listings fields – COVID-19 and Telehealth. Now, you can include a link with these new fields to help patients easily find any relevant information. For example, including a link in the new Telehealth field can direct patients to find long-distance contact, care, advice, reminders, education, intervention, monitoring, and remote admissions.

Pickup & Delivery Attribute Support

Google is helping businesses communicate their pickup and delivery options to customers. Now, all businesses can add “Pickup” and “Delivery” to their Business Profile, which Google will display more prominently in Search and Maps. This is supported via API, so you can take advantage of this under the Business Details section in Knowledge Graph.

Review Response Re-Enabled

The week of March 16 2020, Google temporarily disabled Google reviews. Now, review response is supported on Google, meaning you can respond to all existing Google reviews from Localworks. At this time, users are still unable to leave new reviews. However, Google is slowly opening up reviews being allowed on listings, so you will likely see new Google reviews start to trickle in over the next couple of weeks.

Temporarily Closed Flag Supported via API

Google now supports updating the Temporarily Closed flag via the Google My Business API. So updating the Temporarily Closed field in Location Edit in the Dashboard will result in a Temporarily Closed banner appearing on your Google My Business listing.

Google My Business adds features for restaurants

Google is helping restaurants communicate their dining options to customers. You can now add “Dine-In” to your Business Profile, which Google will display more prominently in Search and Maps in addition to attributes like “Takeout” and “Delivery.” This is supported via the GMB API, so you can take advantage of this under the GMB Attributes section in the dashboard.

In the coming weeks, additional attributes will roll out to all Business Profiles. For example, shopping attributes such as “Delivery” and “Pickup,” as well as dining attributes like “Curbside Pickup” and “No-Contact Delivery” will soon become available.

New listings, claims, and verifications on Google

To help protect against COVID-19, Google is prioritizing updates to health-related businesses. During this time, non health-related businesses can expect a delay for publication of new listings, claims, and verifications to Google Search and Maps.

Business information edits on Google

In addition to newly created listings, claims and verifications, Google will also prioritize business edits that are critical to health-related systems. This includes edits made to open and closed states, special hours, temporary closures, business descriptions, and business attributes. Businesses that do not provide a critical, health-related service may see a delay before any edits go live on their GMB listings.

Changes for Multi-location Businesses (10+ locations)

  • Posts on Google for chain businesses must pertain to COVID-19 related updates. 
  • Existing restrictions on posts apply: Google does not allow local posts for Hotels or locations in China.
  • Scheduled posts and post approvals for Google Local Posts will be available.
  • Google reserves the right to disable Google Local Posting for Enterprise customers at any time after the COVID-19 period.

 

Bing, Facebook, and Yelp

You can now indicate which of your locations are temporarily closed on Facebook, Yelp, and Bing. Here is the expected behavior:

Bing:

Businesses can set holiday hours or use the ‘reopen date’ field

  • US businesses can set holiday hours or use the ‘reopen date’ field

Facebook:

Businesses can set holiday hours or use the ‘reopen date’ field

  • If a business has holiday hours set for 7 days or more or the reopen date is set for some time in the future, there will be a Temporarily Closed flag set on the Facebook page
  • If a business has holiday hours set for 6 days or fewer, there will be a “Differently Open” flag set on the Facebook page.

Yelp:

Businesses can ONLY use the ‘reopen date’ field

  • By setting the reopen date for some time in the future, there will be a Temporarily Closed flag set on the Yelp page

 

We hope this information will help you keep your customers informed during these challenging times. At Yahoo Small Business we stand behind small businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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