Beginning with the removal of Google Business Profile (GBP) call tracking, Google has been sending out a stream of small-but-mighty updates to GBPs.
While no significant changes have been made, the tweaks that we are seeing seem to be making GBP… better.
In addition to the long-awaited removal of a buggy feature, users have spotted the addition of an automated FAQ feature and a messaging availability status. Let’s dig in.
Goodbye, GBP Call Tracking
First spotted by Ben Fisher on Twitter, Google appeared to have gotten rid of the notoriously buggy feature that was GBP call tracking.
Google Business Profiles removed the call tracking feature silently today.
Good riddance, that was a buggy mess that would redirect calls to other merchants. pic.twitter.com/Pj9ZCDjtt8
— Ben Fisher (@TheSocialDude) July 7, 2023
Before its very timely dismissal, users reported that the “feature” would send direct calls to the wrong merchant.
No more GBP call tracking—the people rejoice!
The GBP Messaging Features We Didn’t Know We Needed
This one is a bit of a sticky one, with some speculation that it may not be as new as people think. However, according to a July 25th Tweet, it is a new feature; one that allows you to change your messaging availability status as well as manage your away mode.
In addition to making availability online, Google Business Profile chat also allows you to manage the away mode. pic.twitter.com/7LMy1y7PX8
— Shameem Adhikarath (@shemiadhikarath) July 25, 2023
A note from Google stating that “this feature is currently available to some users” and that “it will roll out to all users soon” certainly implies that it’s new.
In another Twitter spot, Google appears to have added an “Automatic FAQs” option to GBP messaging.
New to me!
— Darcy Burk (@darcyburk) July 20, 2023
FAQs in GBP messaging offer instant answers to common questions asked by customers, and previously had to be manually populated by the business.
This isn’t to be confused with GBP’s Q&A section, where businesses and customers alike can answer user-generated questions. Whereas Q&As are always visible on a business’s GBP, FAQs only appear when a customer utilizes the messaging feature.
The new feature prompts users to “let Google create questions and answers based on your Business Profile and website.”
Additionally included is the option to use business information in automated FAQs—specifically “opening hours, appointments, contact info, location, payment, delivery and website.”
The two seem a little redundant given that the feature appears to draw from your business information regardless, but perhaps Google plans to add more types of information that can be included in these automated FAQs—this option being listed under “Types of automated FAQs” seems to imply as much.
Through the Eyes of the Customer
And let’s not forget the clever, how-did-we-not-have-this-before addition: the option to view your GBP as a customer. Despite a distinct lack of hype around it, we think that this is an incredibly handy feature businesses can use to see any bits they may be missing or places they can continue to optimize.
New GBP Feature: Not groundbreaking but there is now a link to see your GBP as the customer sees it. Good if you are making updates and want to compare both views. pic.twitter.com/n6Wro7HKFP
— Ben Fisher (@TheSocialDude) July 24, 2023
Overall, we’re pretty happy with these changes. While minor, they all seem to be slowly but surely making GBP more business-friendly and intuitive… or so we can hope.
Spot a new GBP update? Let us know in our Facebook community, The Local Pack.