Views Spike in August – Google My Business

Update 10/12/17:

After reaching out to Google for an update on the public post that was to contain additional detail on the reporting change, Google has informed us that they have decided against publishing a post on the topic. Instead, Google has provided the following message, which explains the spike more thoroughly:

We recently started tracking a new impression type in desktop Maps. Local Insights now show whenever a listing has been viewed — even if it’s on a list of businesses that the user sees and the user doesn’t directly click on the business listing.

So essentially, Google is now counting when a desktop user clicks through to Maps to see a different listing, and the business listing in question also displays in the Maps list.

Google My Business Insights began reporting a significant uptick in Views starting roughly August 1st. This spike affected this single metric alone; Photo Views and Click Actions (clicks to directions, clicks to website, clicks to call) remain steady. At first glance, the increase appeared to be a bug in Google’s reporting, given that Click Actions would be expected to increase with a legitimate increase in Views.

We reached out to Google to flag the reporting anomaly to them, and to request an explanation and received the following:

We recently started tracking a new impression type in desktop Maps. In the future we’ll try to communicate these changes better ahead of time.

Among allLocal clients, the largest jump was a 130% increase MoM from July to August, across approximately 2,300 locations. Most clients have seen at least a 50% increase MoM. The image below was taken from the allLocal reporting dashboard for an example client, which displays what a remarkable and suspicious increase it was.

130% Increase from July to August 2017 - GMB

GMB Insights – Monthly Views

The explanation provided by Google above does not yet confirm what kind of desktop Maps view is calculated in the total count, though we can speculate that the Views might be related to either map pin or list views.

Google has provided assurances that this change is permanent and that Views will be sustained at this level, so we can continue to track these reporting metrics accurately in future.

Additionally, it may be worth mentioning that the recent Google local algorithm update, named “Hawk” appears to be unrelated, though the timing of both updates going live in relatively short order make it more difficult to distinguish between a true uptick in performance due to Hawk and an increase due to this new desktop Maps View.

Google is currently working on a public post in response to the confusion, and we will update this post with Google’s public response once available – stay tuned.

Google Adds Bulk Insights Download and New Metrics to GMB Dashboard

Google is on a roll with a recent updates to the GMB dashboard. This latest update allows business owners to download location Insights in bulk from the GMB dashboard.

The metrics download includes the following fields:

  • Store code
  • Store name
  • Address
  • Total searches
  • Direct searches
  • Discovery searches
  • Total views
  • Search views
  • Maps views
  • Total actions
  • Website actions
  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions

Business owners can choose between 7, 30, or 90 days of historical data, or indicate a custom time-frame for the download of up to approximately 18 months’ worth of historical data, identical to the amount of historical data available via the GMB API. This update appears to be rolling out across all accounts in stages, though Google has yet to announce the change on their New Google My Business features page.

Google has also added new metrics to the GMB dashboard for Popular Times (previously only visible in the Knowledge Panel) and Return Customers, though this update has yet to make its way to bulk dashboards.

Google Adds Attributes Reference Sheet to GMB Dash

Google has added a handy reference sheet for all available attributes, not previously available in simple list form in the dashboard before.

The link to download the attribute spreadsheet is available from the Import Locations screen, seen in the screen capture below:

The reference sheet is simply a comprehensive list of all available attributes and does not indicate which attributes are accessible per category selection. Until Google makes it clear which attributes are associated to each category, the attribute selection process might be a bit of trial and error. Despite this shortcoming, it is a great start and a step in the right direction to helping business owners choose the right categories to define their businesses, and select attributes to tell users more about the location.

Announcing Google My Business Locations Bulk API (v2)

Announcing Google My Business Locations Bulk API (v2)

Today Google has released new API functionality for managing listings in bulk verified accounts. Previously, the API allowed businesses to edit only individually verified listings and those edits would be eligible to to go live on Google Search and Maps.

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GMBL Improvement – Upload Only Updated Fields

Google has released a long-awaited and requested feature in the Google My Business Locations dashboard. The bulk dashboard interface now allows for an easier upload of updates to existing locations. Now, when uploading files to the dashboard, businesses are only required to upload those fields that have changes.

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GMB New Feature: Set Holiday Hours!

Google My Business has launched a new feature that allows bulk-verified users to quickly pre-set special hours for holidays and special events. When you enter special hours in Google My Business, Google will tell customers that they’re seeing holiday-specific opening hours. This should remove all of the guess work in having to push holiday hours updates to Google and hope that they go live within the appropriate time frame.

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