In August of 2022, Google unveiled a policy revision pertaining to spamming on Google Business Profile posts. It caught the attention of website administrators, search engine optimization (SEO) professionals, and business proprietors due to its low-key rollout; Google made no official announcement.
This modification has had a notable impact on the local SEO endeavors of businesses leveraging their Google Business Profiles. Experts in local online marketing, such as those from Leadshouse, have offered insights on how to mitigate the effects of this update on your enterprise.
Effect of Google My Business Updates on Local Spam
Utilizing Google Business Profile posts confers several pivotal advantages to businesses. They can be incorporated into your local SEO strategies to elevate your ranking and generate leads. Moreover, they offer other strategic benefits:
- Engage directly with local customers through posts on Google Business Profiles.
- Utilize them to spotlight your Google local listing and enhance the customer experience with timely business updates.
- Encourage customers to leave Google business reviews, bolstering your online reputation.
- Employ them in your local marketing strategy to promote specials, sales, company news, and events.
- Integrate them into your local SEO solutions, enabling potential customers to access vital business information and augment brand recognition.
- Elevate your Google business listings and enhance customer engagement with captivating photos and videos.
Through optimization of Google Business Profile, companies enhance their visibility to consumers. A verified business presence on Google can amplify your site’s traffic by 35% (Barcelona Creative Group, 2020).
The user intent is significant for those seeking information about your business. Estimates indicate that 64% of consumers have used a Google local listing to acquire a company’s contact number. Companies providing their local phone numbers in their Google business listings can experience a 61% boost in customer call rates (The Media Captain, 2023).
However, with the recent local spam update, posts on businesses’ Google local listings may be subject to removal. It is important to note that having your posts labeled as spam will not immediately lead to a Google My Business or Google Business Profile suspension, nor will it diminish local business citations. However, when your posts are reported as spam, you forfeit the aforementioned benefits, potentially undermining your company’s local SEO efforts.
Businesses seeking guidance in navigating various Google My Business updates can benefit from partnering with an experienced local marketing agency like Leadshouse. We have experts who can assist you in optimizing your Google Business Profile, which can amplify your local business citations and maximize local SEO solutions.
Understanding the Spam Update
Business owners and local SEO strategists learned about this update through social media channels. Prior to the update, Google’s spam policies encompassed several critical topics, including:
- Disruptive content
- Spelling errors
- Blurred images and videos
- Excessive use of gimmicky characters
- Adding malicious software links
- Links to irrelevant websites
- Phishing scams
All of these elements are understandably considered spammy. However, Google introduced another item to this list:
“Duplicate photos, posts, videos, and logos”
Employing duplicate visuals and other elements may not result in negative Google business reviews. Nevertheless, the search engine’s algorithms may interpret them as spam, potentially flagging or removing posts. Unfortunately, it may take weeks before a representative from Google assesses and reinstates your post.
Avoiding Penalties and Post Removal
There are several critical details that business owners should consider to prevent post removal and other penalties. Adhering to specific guidelines and tips will also help evade a Google My Business suspension. These include maintaining subject matter relevance, using harmonious color schemes, incorporating videos and photos owned by your company, and providing attribution in your Google Business Profile posts.
1. Preventing Video Spam
To prevent your video content from being flagged as spam by Google, ensure that you use original videos. Additionally, make sure that the videos you include in your profile posts are pertinent to your industry or business.
Viloria stressed the importance of aligning video content with the message of your post. For example, if you operate a window cleaning business in Boston, it would be inappropriate to share cat videos, even if they feature a cute feline perched by a window. Instead, focus on showcasing the cleaning products your team uses and the equipment at your disposal when serving clients.
2. Preventing Image Spam
To prevent your images from being flagged as spam, it is advisable to stick with original photos created by your team, especially when using them as featured images. Additionally, it’s a good practice to use the same color palette as your website for branding consistency.
Google enforces strict policies and guidelines regarding copyrighted content. The search engine giant also provides guidelines for explicit images and similar types of content. Violating these rules can lead to the flagging of photos and posts as spam or their removal from Google Business Profiles. Thus, it’s best to minimize the use of stock images from third-party providers unless their uniqueness can be guaranteed. Repeated violations of these guidelines can result in a Google My Business suspension.
3. Image Attribution
At times, you may need to incorporate another company’s logo in your image, especially for business-to-business (B2B) companies that may need to post updates or work they’ve done for another enterprise.
There are instances when you might need to borrow a cover photo, chart, or another image from other sources to better illustrate a point for your audience. In such cases, providing an image source attribution is recommended. This information informs search engine crawlers and human readers about the source of the image. Google takes this into consideration, which can help you avoid penalties.
4. Ensuring Accuracy in Information
Avoid disseminating misleading or inaccurate messages or information through your images and videos. They should faithfully and accurately represent your business. Another crucial tip is to use high-quality visuals and ensure they haven’t been used on other websites, Google business listings, or profiles. Low-quality visuals don’t benefit customers, and they might lead to negative Google business reviews.
5. Restraining Logo Overuse
To prevent violating Google’s spam policy, refrain from excessively overlaying your company’s logo on your images and videos. Some companies watermark their logos, icons, and other branding images on numerous pictures and images, which can be flagged as spam.
For example, certain restaurants display their weekly specials, which may include their menu. They may be tempted to watermark their restaurant’s logo onto a portion of the menu. However, Google’s algorithms may interpret the repetitive use of these symbols and images as spam.
While some may believe that reusing logos can bolster local business citations or aid in Google Business Profile optimization, it may lead to the removal of your posts. Part of a robust local marketing strategy is being judicious in the use of your company’s branding assets.
6. Infuse Variety into Business Profile Posts
Reusing content from a previous post can be alluring, especially if you’re conveying a similar message from the previous month. For instance, if you regularly hold a monthly sale, you might be inclined to reuse the same images and video from the previous announcement, merely altering the month and offerings.
However, this practice can impact your results in local online marketing. Employ a different theme for the event and seek out more compelling visuals and videos to entice your customers to engage with your post.
Collaborate with a Seasoned Local Marketing Agency
For assistance with your Google Business Profile posts or local marketing endeavors, it’s advisable to partner with seasoned experts. Leadshouse offers robust, tailored local SEO solutions to businesses of all sizes. We have established a reputation for aiding enterprises in enhancing brand visibility and acquiring more customers to bolster their bottom line.
Our subject matter experts can assist your business in navigating evolving algorithms, positioning you ahead of the competition. Get in touch with us today, and our specialists will be delighted to address any inquiries you may have.