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Guidance for businesses affected by COVID-19

Article provided by Google

If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. You can provide updates about your business to customers such as:

  • Your adjusted hours of operation, for instance if you close early.
  • Add “More hours” that describe other business operations such as delivery, takeout, and drive-through.
  • Select an attribute to show you offer online services such as classes, appointments, or estimates.
  • Delays on specific business services.
  • Extra services you are providing for the community.
  • If your business is “Temporarily closed”.

The updates will show on your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

Marking your business “Temporarily closed” won’t affect local search ranking and it will be treated similar to open businesses. Businesses offering pickup or delivery services should not mark the business “Temporarily closed,” otherwise those services won’t show on Google.

Important: We may review your changes for quality before we publish them. Learn more about limited Google My Business functionality due to COVID-19.

Grow with Google provides resources, tips, and online training to help you manage your business, connect with customers, and work from anywhere during COVID-19. In this short video tutorial, learn how to keep customers informed by updating your profile, using posts to communicate, and adding remote managers to your accounts. Additionally, learn how to manage your business remotely during the COVID-19 crisis in this more comprehensive pre-recorded livestream. These videos are available in English only.

To make sure your customers have the latest information:

Update your business hours

  • For businesses with changed hours: If your business hours have changed, update the times when you’ll be open or closed. Your operating hours show when a customer visits your Business Profile, and they’ll know exactly when they can visit your location. Learn how to change your hours.
  • For temporarily closed businesses: If your business is not permanently closed, but has temporarily stopped providing all services, mark your business ”Temporarily closed”. When your business fully or partially resumes operations, you can reopen your business.
  • For businesses with special hours: If your business is open but has adjusted operating hours for specific days, set special hours (rather than mark your business “Temporarily closed”).  Learn how to set special hours.
  • For businesses with More hours: If your business provides specific services with differing times (e.g. senior hours, delivery, takeout) you can set More hours instead of special hours. Learn how to set More hours.

Use attributes to highlight available service options for food and retail businesses

Food and retail businesses have attributes at the top of their Business Profiles to inform customers about service availability. These include Dine-in, Takeout, and Delivery. This new info will prominently appear on your Business Profile when customers search for your business on Google Maps and Google Search. Supported attributes have a “✓” and non-supported attributes display an “X.”

Learn more about specific recommendations for food businesses.

Learn more about specific recommendations for retail businesses.

Tip: If a business is marked “Temporarily closed,” these attributes — highlighted by  “✓” or a “X” on the knowledge panel — won’t surface on Google Search and Maps. Businesses that offer takeout or delivery options shouldn’t mark the business “Temporarily closed.”

Use attributes to highlight online service options for service-based companies

We’ve added an attribute to help users discover in-home service, educational, and professional businesses that have shifted online due to COVID-19.

Important: Businesses still need to have a physical operating presence and online-only businesses are not eligible to verify their Business Profiles on Google My Business. These attributes are to assist physical businesses that offer online services.

If you indicate that your business offers an online service such as classes, appointments, or estimates, that means you provide at least one service fully remotely (e.g. online video) in real-time that can meet the needs of a customer looking for that service.

  • Online tutoring, virtual classes, and live video or phone consultations qualify if they take place in real-time.
  • Services that involve contactless delivery or require you to visit a client’s location do not qualify, even if the service is booked online.

When you indicate that an online service is provided, your Business Profile will prominently show online classes, appointments, or estimates as supported with a ”✓.”

Tip: Online attributes don’t show when a business is marked “Temporarily closed.”

To set the online service attribute and add a link to schedule online classes, appointments or estimates:

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Click Home.
  3. Go to the “Stay connected during COVID-19” dashboard card.
  4. Check the box for the online service your business provides.
  5. Optional: Enter a URL where consumers can schedule online services with your business.

To update the URL that consumers use to schedule online services, go back to the “Stay connected during COVID-19” dashboard card or edit the Appointment URL on the info page. You can also edit the attribute from the Info page on your Business Profile.

Tip: Site managers may set the online service attributes, but do not have permissions to set an online services URL. Only profile owners and managers can set an online services URL.

 Learn more about how you can edit attributes.

Add a COVID-19 update post to your profile

Important: Posts that include a phone number may be rejected.

Use the new COVID-19 post type to share more detailed and timely updates about what’s going on at your business. You can add information about:

  • Closures or reduced hours
  • Safety and hygiene practices
  • Availability of gift cards to support your business
  • Online classes and visits

COVID-19 update posts appear prominently on your profile and are more noticeable to your customers. Learn how to add your COVID-19 update post.

Connect with your customers

Download the Google My Business app and turn on messaging as a way to help your customers reach you. If you aren’t reachable by phone or it’s after your business hours, messaging can help customers get the support they need. Learn how to turn on messaging in the Google My Business app.

Tip: Draft an automatic welcome message to let customers know your business status.

Edit your business description

Important: Posts that include a phone number may be rejected.

Use your business description to share information about your business such as:

  • If your business is only available for takeout or delivery
  • Extra services you provide to the community
  • If your business services are delayed

Learn more about editing your business description.

Hours and services disclaimer

At this time, businesses may find a disclaimer on their profile to let customers know that their business info may not be up-to-date.

Verified businesses can remove this disclaimer when they update recent special hours. The disclaimer won’t appear if a business hasn’t set hours of operation or if you mark your business “Temporarily closed.” If you mark your business “Temporarily closed,” attributes such as takeout or delivery won’t display on your profile.

Learn how to set special hours and mark your business “Temporarily closed” on Google.

Recommendations for healthcare providers

Healthcare providers like doctors, therapists, and other medical practitioners can use Google My Business to claim and manage their practice’s info. You can add details about services, such as telemedicine, and personalize your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

A COVID-19 info link is also available for Healthcare providers to link out to their facility’s COVID-19 information page as a way to provide details on the facility’s operations and practices during the pandemic. This may include COVID-19 testing information, restricted visitor hours, a COVID-19 hotline, and/or whether visits and appointments are still occurring in person.

Important: The COVID-19 info link is available in the US and displays on mobile only.

Learn more about specific recommendations for healthcare providers.

Recommendations for hotel owners

If your hotel is affected by the COVID-19 situation, update your Business Profile on Google to provide the most accurate information to your customers.

You can surface specific amenities and information on your Business profile such as free or discounted accommodation for COVID-19 responders. To surface this information, select the attribute in your Business Profile.

Learn more about specific recommendations for hotel owners.

Keep a pulse on the new normal with help from Google

About temporary closures

We rely on authoritative data sources, where available, to mark certain types of places as “Temporarily closed” on Google Search and Google Maps.

Tip: If a business is marked “Temporarily closed,” attributes for both dining and retail establishments won’t surface on Google Search and Maps. If your business still operates through takeout or delivery, you should not mark it as “Temporarily closed.”

Where does Google get this information from?

We use data from many types of authoritative data sources, which include national, state/provincial and local governments, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and businesses. You can also suggest a temporary closure.

What categories of places are covered here?

Any categories of places that authoritative sources say are temporarily closed. For example, schools are a common example of a type of place that may be listed as “Temporarily closed.” Other possible types of places an authoritative data source can mark as “Temporarily closed” may include museums, gyms, and stores.

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