Quick Google Search Facts:
- Google receives over 63,000 searches per second every day.
- An average person conducts 3-4 searches every day.
- Google owns 90% of the world’s searches.
Whether you already had a Google My Business page, or the pandemic forced you to pay attention to your listing – Google is where your business needs to be. According to Interbrand’s recently released “Best Global Brands 2020,” Google is the world’s fourth most valuable brand. Despite their revenue dropping this past year and the multitude of lawsuits, Google is far from out of the race in advertising and search.
While Google may be a global company, they are still local at heart and have initiatives to help local businesses. Did you know that Google developed a range of services to help local businesses communicate better during COVID-19?
2020 Google Features in Response to COVID-19
- Option to select “temporarily closed,” previously the only option was permanent closure.
- Businesses with multiple locations were able to automatically update their Google posts across all listings. (Google previously restricted this feature for companies with more than 10 locations.)
- COVID-19 related information stays prominently above other posts.
- Retail and restaurants were able to have additional options like curbside pickup and no-contact delivery.
- Local service-area businesses gained features like video appointments, accepting on-site or urgent jobs, listing social distancing rules, wearing protective gear, and offering video estimates.
- Healthcare systems share online care options and meaningful information about their offices when someone needs to visit their facility and telehealth options.
- Addition of “support” and “donate” options to let communities know how they can help a business.
- Secondary hours if the business had to adapt to different hours to accommodate consumers, special event hours, etc.
- Updates to Google maps for consumers to find new routes or different options to travel safely to a business.
- Visual content is not a new feature for Google My Business, but it is another critical piece. With the ability to upload videos and images, businesses can show customers what steps they are taking to keep consumers safe, show pictures of staff welcoming people, special offers, discounts, inventory, etc.
Brands that show up on Google are 2.7 times more likely to be considered reputable by consumers.
Google is taking a particular interest in healthcare and patient services for 2021. Google is driving innovations to provide the health care system a way to ingest patient data and improve outcomes. Google is diligently working on figuring out privacy issues, while data scientists will then help with structured data and AI. If you aren’t in health care, this focus may not directly affect your business, but it can as a patient. Patient data mining could use AI to suggest treatment plans or tests, flag unusual deviations in care, place additional enforcement on narcotics, and aggregate patient data to be hosted all in one place.
The company’s unofficial motto is, “Don’t be evil.”
Another industry Google had to move into quickly was education. With the pandemic shutting down schools in early 2020, the education system had to pivot to online learning, and they turned to Google Classroom. While it was far from right or perfect, according to any parent trying to help their first grader learn online, it was something to keep children’s education moving forward during the pandemic.
For the 2020-21 school year, Google has added 50 new features to their Classroom, including controls for safer online learning. Google has also moved into higher education with a certificate program. Google claims that its six-month certificate program is a fraction of a 4-year college cost, but the career certificates will be equivalent to a 4-year degree.
With all the updates and changes Google is making, it can make it difficult for retail, healthcare providers, educational institutions, automotive, franchises, multi-family housing, or any other business type to navigate. Digital Air Strike specializes in consumer engagement solutions for businesses, including online reputation management and optimization of Google My Business listings. When 85% of all consumers search for your business online before making a purchase, your Google listing needs to showcase your positive reviews, company information, promotions, inventory, products, and more.