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Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

Google Publishes User-Generated Content (UGC) Posting Restrictions

By Colan Nielsen / January 18, 2023

Google just published a new article in the “Map User Contributed Policy” help center about posting restrictions. This is the first time that Google has broken down the various types of restrictions. These are specifically about user-generated content (UGC) restrictions. This means that the restrictions are referring to things like user-uploaded photos, videos, and reviews.…

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Google Adds “Add a Map to Your Website” Feature to Google Business Profiles

By Colan Nielsen / December 16, 2022

It appears that Google has added a new feature to the New Merchant Experience (NMX), which is the new in-search editing interface, that allows a business to create a custom map to add to their website. First time seeing prompt to "add a map to your website" in the NMX interface. Clicking through takes you…

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Google Just Deprecated the “Follow” Button and Welcome Offer on Google Maps

By Colan Nielsen / February 18, 2022

Google Maps has just deprecated the “Follow” button and Welcome Offer feature that was first launched back in 2018. If you aren’t familiar with this feature, you’re likely not alone. When Google cancels a feature it is normally due to lack of adoption. Considering how little attention this feature received in the local SEO space,…

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ICYMI Google Launches Small Business Advisors Beta

By Colan Nielsen / June 9, 2021

Google has launched a new service for small businesses. The official name is Small Business Advisors. It is currently available in the US only. This was officially launched last November and Google is now starting to ramp it up. Here’s how Google describes the new service.Discover the different ways an Advisor can help you. We…

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2021 Google My Business Insights Update

By Colan Nielsen / January 26, 2021

Updated on June 15, 2021 to include new Directions and Website Clicks breakdown   Google announced some changes coming to GMB Insights in October 2020. According to this Google My Business help center article titled Changes to your Insights data: Business Profile Performance reporting is moving closer to your profile on Search and Maps. You’ll be…

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Google My Business is Testing “Services” Justifications

By Colan Nielsen / December 30, 2020

The services menu in Google My Business allows you to add details about the different services your business offers.  Up until yesterday, the fields would only show up on mobile as a tab that either display as “services” or “menu” (which looks silly for any non-restaurant businesses). The service menu can be created directly in…

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Google My Business Adds Performance Metrics to Direct Edit Experience

By Colan Nielsen / August 18, 2020

Last week Mike wrote an article about the new direct edit experience for Google My Business listings. As of this afternoon, we are seeing it in the wild. What has us really excited is the ability to view performance metrics graphed up to a six month period with a year-over-year comparison. It would be nice…

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GMB Adds “Manage insurance info for your practice” Section to Help Center

By Colan Nielsen / May 26, 2020

Google My Business recently update the page titled “Get started with Google My Business for healthcare providers” with a section called “Manage insurance info for your practice”. Google states: Important: Insurance information is available for select merchants in the US only. It displays for merchants whose insurance availability is provided to Google. On your Business Profile…

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April 2020 Local Algorithm Update

By Colan Nielsen / May 7, 2020

We have been observing massive local ranking fluctuations that seem to have started around April 23, 2020. There is an active discussion happening at the Local Search Forum. We started to see the second wave of massive ranking fluctuation that corresponds with the announcement of the broad core algorithm update on May 4, 2020. Later…

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[New GMB Bug] GMB Issue With No Text Box For Review

By Colan Nielsen / January 24, 2020

RESOLVED 1/29/2020 There appears to be another GMB related bug.  Sporadically some users are not able to leave a review for a business the find via search & local knowledge panels.  They also are sometimes unable to leave a review when given the GMB Profile Short Name URL. Users are reporting that the tap or…

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