Everything you need to know about Google’s Business Messaging App

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As people are searching Google, they now have the option to message / chat with the business.  The days of one-way communication are no longer the norm.  For some businesses, this can be a great tool that they enable, but for others, it can be another pain point.   Text messaging interactions not only saves time but it’s straightforward making life easier for the business and the consumer.  Research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers would like to communicate with businesses by text messaging.  

How to get started with Messages on your Google Business Profile

Take the following steps to turn on your messages within your Google Business Profile

  1. Login to your Google Business Profile and select Messages on the right-hand menu bar.
  2. On the top right corner there is a Turn on messaging option, once selected a pop up will confirm you have turned on messaging.Google’s new Messaging App
  3. Select the settings icon to activate send read receipts.
  4.  All messages appear by customer allowing you to have multiple messages shown.
  5. Customers can get in touch with you in real-time from your Business Profile on Google or Google Maps at any time of day.


Google’s Business Messaging App

How Google Business Messaging app works

Once you turn on the messaging, a “Chat” button will appear on your Business Profile enabling searchers to message you at any time.  Messages will appear in your Business Profile on Google and all users are able to respond to messages.  Make sure you turn on notifications for your messages to ensure that you can respond in a timely manner.  Automated welcome messages are available but can only be set up within the Google Maps app at this time.  

Chat Button on Google Maps
All messages are saved within the Business Profile.  If deleted, it will be deleted for all users and the business will no longer have access to them.  However, the customer will still have access to the message on their device.  Businesses can export and download messages to keep for records or use for other purposes.  

Receiving Spam Messages on Your Google Business Profile

Some industries are more prone to receiving spam messages on their Google Business Profile.  If you have received what appears to be a spam message on your profile, make sure to mark it as spam.  When a message is marked as spam, Google will not factor in your response time for that message.  To mark a message as spam, go to the message area in your Google Business Profile.  Select the message you believe is spam and hit the ! icon next to the delete icon on the top right.  Once you select the ! icon, a pop up message appears prompting you to check a box that reads “Report as spam”.  Select “Block” and the user will no longer be able to message you.

Your Response Time to Chat Messages on Google

It’s important that a business respond to all messages quickly on their Google Business profile to build a better experience for the customer.  Google requires that a business reply to messages within 24 hours after the message has been received.  If Google finds that you are not replying to messages within a 24-hour time frame, they may deactivate the chat feature for your business.

How to Turn Google’s Business Message Read Receipts On or Off

All businesses should carefully consider whether they want to keep read receipts on or off.  If your response time is within 10 minutes and you have a dedicated user assigned to responding to messages, this feature may suit you well.  However, if you are testing out the messaging app for the first time on your business you may want to make sure this feature is turned off.  Showing that you read a message and delaying a response may reflect negatively on your business.  Read receipts can be turned off in the message setting within your Google Business Profile or directly on the Google Maps app. 

Should I use Google’s Business Messaging App to Chat with My Customers?

Figuring out how, who and what should be done isn’t always easy.  There is no right or wrong answer to using the Google Messaging option.  A business may need to test out the messaging for a month.  Make sure you don’t forget to monitor your messages.  After a few messages have been received, analyze the messages.  Determine if they were successful and if it has the outcome desired.  Only you can determine the return on investment of messaging.  Were your monitoring efforts and responding time worthwhile?  For more information or for help on setting up your message app in Google, contact Reputation Arm.  

Google My Business now Google Business Profile

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Is the Google My Business app going away?

Yes and no!  Google now wants business owners with single locations to edit their pages directly on Google Search and Google Maps.  This means it is no longer necessary to use the app or console to make updates on your Google Business Profile.   However, the app will be available for agencies and businesses with multiple locations to manage their listings.  With the transition to primarily support large businesses with multiple locations comes the new name, Business Profile Manager.  We can expect changes to the Business Profile Manager throughout the next year.

You may not have noticed that Google My Business has been renamed to Google Business Profile.  According to Google, the new name is to “keep things simple.”  Prior to Google My Business the name was Google Places, Google + Local, and Google Places.  The point is, Google is always evolving and the Google My Business app is another change coming our way.  In 2022, Google will be retiring the app for business’s will single locations.   They now prefer a business with a single listing to manage their single listings directly on Google Search or Google Maps.

To edit your business, simply search My Business in the google search.  You can also search your business name.

Google business profile edit view
Google business profile edit view

The search should pull up business profiles you manage and will allow you to update, edit and modify your profile all from the search page.  No console needed.

Google Business Profile Your Business on Google
Your Business on Google


Once you hit the edit profile a pop-up box will open that allows the location to update

  • Business Information
  • Hours
  • Products
  • Services
  • Add Photos
  • Add products


New Updates

The new updates recently launched include call history, messaging and claiming and verifying your Business Profile directly in Google Search.

Claiming your Business Profile directly on Search and Maps

Simply search the business name or find your business on Google Maps.  You should see an option to verify the profile.  If your account is suspended you can resolve it in the browser as well.  Google states that “Over the coming months we will enable all merchants who create or claim Business Profiles on Google to complete their setup directly on Google Search and Maps.”

Exclusive Features on Search and Maps

Google will provide additional tools and analytics on your business performance exclusively within search and maps.  In order to fully optimize you will need to visit your business profile on search.  This forces the business owner to view how their local business shows up across Google.

Call history in Google Business Profile

Google launched call history earlier this year (2021).  It allows a business to track calls from your customers on Google Search and Maps.  Call history keeps a log of your calls in one place.  Any customer that uses the “Call” button on your Business Profile will be logged in your Calls tab.  It identifies recent calls, missed calls and answered calls.  Any calls you get from your Business Profile will start with a short message.

Call history on Google
Call history on Google

Google also helps you identify how your calls are performing.  It allows a business to see what day of the week they missed the most calls and the time of day most calls were missed.

Call history on Google 2
Call history on Google


Did you know you can read and reply to messages from your Business Profile?  Start by turning on messaging within your business profile page.  You can do this by searching your business name in Google Search.  You should be able to see your profile.  Keep in mind only managers of the profile can see these options.  Look for the box that says Turn on Messaging.  You then will be prompted to Turn on chat.  Once turned-on customers will see a “Chat” button on your Business Profile.  Customers will be able to message you at any time.

How will I know when I get a Message for my Business Profile?

  • Messages appear in your Business Profile on Google
  • Google sends you notifications for incoming messages.
  • Customizable welcome messages are available*.
  • All users have access to message customers.

*Customizable welcome messages are only available to set up on the app.  The current Google Business Profile does not allow locations to customize welcome messages.

If you decide to enable the messaging option on your Business Profile, always remember to reply within 24 hours.  When customers see that your business is engaging in the chat feature it will promote trust and encourage more chat engagements in the future.  Google will deactivate chat for your business if they find that you don’t respond within the 24-hour time frame.  For help on answering message, reviews or Google optimization on your Google Business Profile, reach out to Reputation Arm.  Our experienced team can help guide you along the way.

Messaging on Google Business Profile
Messaging on Google Business Profile

7 Local Justifications On Google That Validate Your Business and Help with Local SEO

Local Justifications? What are they and why should I care?

Google displays validated snippets of text on a business listing in the Local Packs, Local Finders, and Google Maps.  The idea is to show the Google searcher the local business listed precisely matches their search intent.  The justification is Google’s way of validating the business.  For example, if you were to search “bathing suits” on Google you will notice the following snippets in the Local Map Pack below the ads.

Sold here Justification

Google search results are based on your geographical location.  This is why you will always see Local results on the top of a search query.  Google is validating for the searcher that swimwear is sold at the top two locations and that Target has swimwear in stock.   These justifications stand out and are more likely to engage a user.  It also improves a business click through ratio (CTR) on their listing.  The more clicks a business receives on their Google My Business page the more relevant they become to Google.  You may have seen many different types of  local Google justifications and didn’t realize how significant they are for your business.  This article will share what types of justifications Google has and how we can influence them.

7 Relevant Google justifications that influence search intent.

1.    Review Justifications

A business’s Google review can be a local justification that Google will highlight.   Review justifications are influenced by the keywords embedded in the reviews.   Encourage your reviewers to use keywords when leaving reviews.  My favorite example of a review justification uses the word “best.”  I often insert the word “best” to see how it will influence my search.  Take a look at the example, “best prime rib”.


review justification

Google highlighted two businesses that had reviews mentioning best prime rib.  Reviews account for 15% of how you rank on Google.  For more information on why reviews are so significant read our blog, Building Reviews Drives your Local SEO.

2.      Service Justifications

Adding services to your Google My Business profile is relevant.  Prior to the services justification, adding the text in the services often felt like a waste of time.  Besides showing up in the services tab of a business listing it did not appear that Google was using this section for much else.  We now see that Google is using a business’s services as a justification.  For example, my search was “landscaping services.” Google’s Local Map Pack presented the following options:

Services Justification

As you can see Google is using “provides” to represent the service provided by the business.  When entering in your business services make sure to use text that will make sense to the searcher.

3.      In Stock Justifications

In order to show your items that are in stock you must enable the See What’s in Store (SWIS) function.  The process is easy and FREE and may take a business less than 10 minutes to complete.

Google Justification

To see the integration, search “Target” and select the store closest to you.  After you select the store near you,  Google’s Map page for that store will appear.  If you scroll down you will see the section titled “See what’s in store.”  Your customers can search what’s in stock and pick up that same day.  SWIS is designed to help local business compete against Amazon.  Any product that is searched and is in stock can potentially show up in the local Map Pack for a business with the “In stock” justification.

SWIS Google

4.      Sold here Justifications

Sold here justifications cannot be influenced.  That’s not to say Google won’t change that.  In order for Google to know what is sold at a local business they ask the consumers.  On the business profile you will see Know this Place? in bold.  Once you select share the latest info link a small box will pop up and ask you a series of questions.


know this place on google my business

Google trusts the consumers more than it trusts the business.  You may find that your Google My Business page shows pending edits.  This is directly influenced by Google users that have answered questions about your business.   The edits are typically highlighted in orange on the info tab of your GMB page.  The image below highlights the edit message a business may see in their Google My Business account.  This message is a direct effect of the Know this Place? option to Google users.

Google Justification

5.      Post Justifications

Post justifications can easily be influenced.  Google posts are highlighted with an exclamation point icon next to them.  They are pulled from Google posts that were created within the last 60 days.  In order to influence your posts, try to use keywords that are related to a user’s search term.  For example, let’s look at the search term “Botox”.

post justifications

The text within the post is featured here.  As you can see the search term was “botox services” but Google pulled up a related search term “botulinum toxin injections” for Botox.  In order to optimize your post justifications, try to post for a single service or topic.

6.      Their website mentions Justifications

Website content is critical for SEO.   While we have always known that our website content influenced our search results, we can now visually see how it can directly impact the search.   Website mentions are of the more popular justifications that Google uses.  Website mentions supply another reason why website needs to be optimized with keywords and internal links to your services pages.

their website mentions

7.      Menu Justifications

menu highlight justification

There are two types of menu justifications.  One is “on the menu” and the other is “menu highlight”.  Google is pulling “on the menu” items from the website menu associated with the business.  On the other hand “menu highlights” are controlled by Google users that upload photos to your GMB profile.  You will oftentimes find images added to the user’s review highlighting how great their lobster tail was.  As you can see in the image below, the lobster tail photo is a user photo that Google used.  You can view a restaurants menu highlights on a mobile phone by selecting the menu tab as shown in the image below and scrolling through the menu highlights section.

Menu Highlight

Your post has been removed from Google

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Your post has been removed from your Business Profile on Google because it violates one of more of our post content policies.

Google post violation

Have you recently received this email from Google after submitting your Google post but just can’t seem to figure out how your post violates Google policy?  We will highlight some of Google’s content policies to help you better understand how to make your post live.  For more information regarding content policy,  you can find it on Google My Business Help.

Make sure your post is relevant to your business

All posts done in your GMB page should be relevant to the business and be used to help customers better understand what you sell, offer, or services you provide.  If Google finds that the content is not relevant to the business or has no clear association with your business it would be a rejected.  Keep in mind that Google My Business is not meant to be a environment for general, political, social or personal conversation.

No Spam

Your content should not be misleading in anyway to your customers.  In addition to presenting relevant information, it should be honest material.  Examples of content that is not allowed include:

  • Misspellings, gimmicky character use, gibberish, or automated or distracting content such as blurry or poor image or video quality, or unrecognizable content
  • Images, videos, or links that negatively distract the reader’s attention
  • Links to malware, viruses, or other harmful software
  • Links to sites irrelevant to the business
  • Phishing scams

No inappropriate Content is allowed

While it may seem obvious to most the following would be considered inappropriate Google post content:

Content that is filled with hate or bullies or has a direct threat.

Content that ridicules a person or place that may instigate anger or hate.

Content that promotes violence.

Sexual content.

Terrorist content.

Even after following all the obvious guidelines your post is still getting rejected.  Some violations may be harder to catch.  If your post is still getting rejected try looking at your photo image.  Words within a post can trigger a post rejection.  Remove all phone numbers or website url links in the body of the post.  You can use the CTA buttons instead.  Google is now rejecting posts that include phone numbers or a url, similar to the image above.  Including a phone number in your post is called Phone Stuffing and is in violation of Google Policy.

Limit the number of words to no more then 100 words.  Google posts allow up to 300 words, however your message gets truncated and is not visible.  Its better to stick to less than 100 words for all posts.  Follow SEO best practice in your message.  This means do no over stuff keywords in your post message.  Google may reject posts for that reason.  Make sure your image is the appropriate size, ideally 750 x 750.  Google provides the option to use a Call-to-Action button.  Always remember to utilize your CTA button for your posts.

Trying one or several things may be required to get your post to fall in line with Google post guidelines.  The best approach is to start with less and add as you see fit.  If you still can’t figure out why your post is not publishing, contact Reputation Arm for help.