Are you prepared for COVID-19? While CoronaVirus has taken on a life of its own, you should always have a plan in place to update your business hours due to any disaster. 

Here are three ways that you can update your Google My Business (GMB) my hours. If your business will be or is closed — you have several options and things to consider.

GMB Temporarily Closed Label

1. Google Recently Rolled Out the Temporarily Closed Label

You will need to contact GMB support and have them mark your listing as temporarily closed. While this is Google's preferred method, I don't recommend it.

GMB support is short-staffed at the moment, so you should expect a delay in getting help. While this is fine, if you have one location, it is not ideal if you have or manage more than 10 locations. You also will need to contact support again once your business reopens.

You may experience another delay in getting back in contact with support. While the business is marked as closed, you won't be able to receive any new reviews, and you won't show up in the local finder. I honestly don't know how is this is ideal for businesses or users. 

If the Temporarily Closed feature becomes available in the dashboard, I still wouldn't recommend it. It appears that Google has made some changes this week. The Temporarily closed listings are not showing in the map pack and but will now show in the local finder. It appears that their ranking may be diminished below locations that were not marked as temporarily closed or are missing hours.

Unable to leave a Google review.

2. Mark Your Business as Permanently Closed

You will still be able to manage your listing while it is marked as closed. You again will not be able to receive new reviews either.

Adding special hours in GMB.

3. Holiday Hours

GMB allows you to use holiday hours for special hours. I added two weeks' worth of holiday hours to mark a preschool as closed. I also followed it up by creating an event Google post. 

Temporarily Closed Google post

Things to Know: Multiple Locations, Reviews, and Restaurants

If you are managing lots of locations, you can use the bulk upload to set your hours as closed or use the GMB API. If you use a citation management platform, you can update your hours through them as well.

If you fail to update your business hours and a customer shows up to your business, they may get upset, and they could leave you a negative review. Google will not remove that review. 

Also, Google is now allowing restaurants the ability to added pick up, dine out or carry out to their business name.

Resource: Businesses Affected By COVID-19: Provide Customers With Updated Info

Update Listings Quickly

Feeling the pain of updating your working hours in every single listing directory? You have to log in to each site you have your business info on, update your NAP or opening hours manually, then make sure this info is the same on every website you placed it on, then wait for Google to see and crawl it. Ouch!

To avoid this irritation, the Listing Management tool can be quite helpful. You just input it directly in the tool’s interface and then wait until the tool updates it automatically on your listings. 

Once updated, you will see it in a report. 


Author Photo
Jason BrownAfter more than a decade working in the field, I am currently the Spam Hunt for Sterling Sky. Although I have focused on local SEO for nationwide multi-location franchises since 2015, my resume includes combating and reporting fake online reviews, which includes several local and national news appearances. My comments can be found regularly in the GMB forum and I'm in the process of becoming a Top Contributor. You can find me on Twitter talking SEO and music; say hi sometime.
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