Person using Google for business on a tablet.

Every once in a while, Google comes out with an update that brings the entire internet to an uproar. Unfortunately, many people who lack SEO knowledge often misunderstand exactly what’s changing. As a result, this leads to the spread of misinformation and panic, which only makes matters worse. We are here to set the record straight and talk about Google My Business and what’s changing in 2022.

The importance of Google My Business

There is no denying that any changes Google makes to its search engine will have an enormous impact on businesses around the globe. However, not all companies think that their Google My Business profile is all that relevant to how they conduct their business. They decide to ignore local SEO, which usually turns out to be a mistake, but marketing strategies can be different, and your mileage may vary. So let’s explain why it’s so important and how it can affect your online presence.

GMB is Google’s own tool that helps you manage the publically available information on your business. It affects how your business appears across a range of Google’s services. Therefore, you can consider GMB as a business directory, although one that belongs to the most important search engine in the world.

Here’s how having a Google My Business profile can affect your company:

  • It can improve your SEO. Google is more than a little biased when delivering search results. Google will go out of its way to promote businesses that have filled in their GMB profiles over businesses that haven’t. It’s almost forcing you to play its game, but if you want to improve your SEO, this is a surefire way to do so.
  • Gets you on Google’s map pack. When you search for businesses, Google’s first page results often include a map of your area with results based on location. If you want to get featured in the 3-pack on the map, your best course of action is to fill in your GMB profile.
  • Impacts local searches. Some businesses rely on customers from their immediate area for most of their sales. If that’s the case for your company, you should complete your GMB information to help users find you.
Person using Google to search for local business.
Local searches are impacted by your Google My Business profile.

Google My Business: what’s changing in 2022

Back in November 2021, Google announced a series of changes to Google My Business. Some of these have already been rolled out, but we will still have to wait a few more months to see the full extent of the changes. Although not all of the updates have been implemented, it’s better to be prepared and know what will be different.

1.    The name is changing to Google Business Profile

From now on, Google My Business will be known as Google Business Profile. It will take a while for most people to get used to this change, but Google has been gradually shifting to using the term ‘profile’ instead of ‘listing’ on most of their services. Thankfully, most searches on GMB will still point you in the right direction, so you will have enough time to get used to the name change.

2.    The Google My Business app is being retired in 2022

Don’t panic – this doesn’t mean that you’ll be out of options to edit your profile information. Google is just steering users away from the website version of GMB and the mobile app. The current website for GMB will be changed to offer support for larger businesses. Depending on how you previously accessed your GMB profile, this change may not impact you all that much.

Smartphone with Google My Business app installed.
Support for the Google My Business app is being discontinued.

3.    You can access your profile through Google Maps and Google Search

Although this doesn’t represent a new feature, since it is already available, it will become the default way to access your Google Business profile. You will also be able to complete your verification and claim your Google Business Profile on Search and Maps. To help you manage your profile, Google is promising to add new tools and features over time.

4.    Improved support for multiple-location businesses

This change will mostly impact large businesses with offices or storefronts in several locations. Some marketing professionals are skeptical regarding what kind of support will be available for small businesses. Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact details of what this support will offer. We will just have to wait and see what Google has in mind.

Other things to keep in mind regarding the Google My Business changes

Google uses multiple ranking factors

Focusing only on hyper-optimizing your GMB profile can be a mistake since it’s almost impossible to appease every factor that impacts Google’s searches. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for current trends, it’s more important that you can see the big picture. There are multiple ranking factors, and you should strive to mark off as many of them as you can to improve your SEO.

Person doing Google analytics search on a laptop.
Monitor all the factors which impact your SEO, not only your Business Profile listing.

Update all your other citations

Having a Google Business Profile is important, but it isn’t the only place to list your business. Go through and update your citations on various websites and business directories. Although it may seem like a huge hassle, having inconsistent information regarding your business can actually bring down your SEO and cause you to rank poorly.

If, for some reason, you currently aren’t using citations on multiple websites, you are missing out on a lot of traffic. In case you don’t know which websites are relevant for business citations, or if you just can’t be troubled with posting on all of them, you can hire to do that for you. People use business directories all the time, and being listed on several places will promote your brand, improve your ranking, and have a beneficial impact on your bottom line.

In summary

Now that we’ve explained the commotion regarding Google My Business what’s changing in 2022, you’ll be ready to meet those changes head-on. Although not all of the details have been disclosed, it’s evident that Google is trying to simplify things for small businesses and offer more support to larger companies. We are excited to see how all this pans out, but in the meantime, you should give your profile an update and start preparing for the changes.