Google posts are one of the ways local businesses can up their interaction with their customers, and even gain some new ones. You can let your community know about special events you have going on, specials or sales, and just keep in touch with your audience’s needs.
In the past, all Google My Business posts expired after 7 days. However, when one particularly observant user posted notice that old Google posts are showing, it was evident that change was upon us. It’s official: Google posts no longer expire after 7 days.
What’s Changing With Google My Business Posts?
Google posts show up in a business’s Knowledge Panel, which helps customers keep up on the latest business information. The Knowledge Panel is the snapshot, quick view, of people, organizations, and businesses when someone searches them on Google. This appears as a small info box with recent posts, photos, and information. Essentially, it’s the key information you would look for if you wanted to sum up a business in a minute or two.
Previously, a business’s Google posts were hidden after a week, and customers had to click ‘View all’ to see older posts. Now Google is changing the format to allow posts older than a week to show alongside other, more recent posts, regardless of their age.
The first two posts will display under business’ listings, whether one is hours old and another is months old. Customers can still see all of the Google posts, although they can do so by clicking the arrow to scroll through all the posts. It also seems that alongside the unveiling of older, previously hidden, posts, even older business photos are also included in the Knowledge Panel.
Does the GMB Update Help Local SEO?
Google business posts don’t affect your search engine ranking the way on page SEO does. In fact, Google My Business posts don’t affect your SEO or rankings at all. However, for local businesses, that isn’t the main concern. For business owners it’s important for searchers (and potential customers) to see relevant information right away.
Luckily the most recent posts still show as the first results. However, for businesses that don’t frequently update their Google My Business information, keeping the older posts visible is a big thing because it shows depth of business and activity from a visitor’s perspective and it allows potential customers to get a look inside the business, all while taking minimal work on the business’ part.
It’s always better to have more business information available for your customers. It helps them make decisions regarding whether or not your business is the right choice for them. Not only that, it gives potential customers a look into your business, and shows that you keep up to date. Of course, if the default post showing is about a special sale that took place years ago, it can also show that you don’t update your business information frequently.
What to Remember About GMB Posts
Google My Business, or GMB, has plenty of features that go underutilized. For a long time, posts have been one of those features for many businesses. Those businesses that do use Google posts, and update them frequently certainly stand out from others that don’t. Whether you use GMB posts daily, or a couple times a year, it’s one of the first things people see when they search your business.
Keep Timeliness In Mind
You might be relieved to know that your Knowledge Panel won’t show up blank because older posts are hidden. That can be a bonus for businesses that don’t post much information that becomes dated quickly. However, if you have posts that refer to past events, it can give the impression that you’re not keeping your business up to date, so for the sake of relevance in the customers mind, you are recommended to keep your Google posts fresh and post regularly, even if it is once every 3 months for example.
It Doesn’t (Reportedly) Affect Seo Rankings
Google’s SEO algorithms go through countless changes, and those can change without notice. With that said, it doesn’t appear that Google business posts have any real effect on rankings in the organic search listings or rankings in the GMB listings (maps / 3 pack). What Google posts can do though is to help convert casual browsers into customers. It’s an extra resource to show your business off and be ahead of your competition.
Regarding ranking effect, although there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it affects rank, it is difficult to quantify precisely, because Google GMB posts are only one aspect that Google may calculate when determining rank. It may only contribute a little, but every little bit helps.
There Are Post Guidelines
Google My Business posts aren’t a free for all, and there are guidelines you have to follow. The preview of your post in the Knowledge Panel will only show the first 100 words, and the post can only be up to 300 words in its entirety. You can still include other features like links to action pages for example (such as your main business page or a specific service or offer page) and you can and should add call to action…. Ask or tell people to call you or ask for a quote for example.
What Does Google Say Regarding The Update?
As with the majority of the changes that Google makes, this one doesn’t come with an official guide, statement, or press release. In fact, people are mostly noticing the change because an individual (Brodie Clark)noticed this change and then took to Twitter to share the news.
Google does test a lot of features, and later discontinue them. In this case, it seems to be a feature that they plan on keeping, as there haven’t been any changes or announcements to say otherwise.
Now businesses can fully leverage Google My Business posts to their full advantage. Google posts won’t expire after a week anymore. No longer how far in the past they were created, they can show in the Knowledge Panel. More recent posts still show up first- however, if there aren’t any recent posts, old posts show up from most recent to oldest.
Searchers, and potential customers, can now see GMB posts in business profiles regardless of posting date. Not only that, even dated business photos will also show up in the Knowledge Panel, unless more recent photos are available to display first.
For many businesses, this is bringing Google posts into the spotlight- and it looks to be a feature that many will be using far more frequently. It can also bring attention to the need to create timely, relevant information and avoid stale or outdated posts in lieu of new posts. Keep in mind that these posts won’t necessarily raise your search engine rankings. However, they can help boost your business in much the same ways.