LocalU Author Page

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

Google Business Profiles Bugs and Fixes – December 2021

By Joy Hawkins / December 2, 2021

Google Business Profiles (GBP) are meant to help businesses make money and gain exposure. When GBP breaks, it can have costly effects on businesses. 5 major issues are plaguing GPB at the moment. You will either need to wait for Google the fix the issue while you slowly go out of business or take matters…

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Google My Business Disables Select Categories for Service Area Businesses

By Joy Hawkins / August 6, 2021

Several weeks ago, a thread came up on the Local Search Forum where Jim Frolling noticed a business had their primary category in Google My Business changed from “tire store” to “wheel shop”.  He noticed that this appeared to happen to every single listing on Google that did not have their address displayed publicly (known…

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Google Won’t Remove Negative Reviews That are Constantly Updated

By Joy Hawkins / June 3, 2021

There are lots of frustrating scenarios that I read regularly where small businesses are plagued by negative reviews on Google.  This one that I helped on the Google My Business forum caught my attention because I was really surprised that Google wouldn’t remove it. This business owner has had a customer update his negative review…

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Google My Business Adds Labels for New Listings

By Joy Hawkins / June 3, 2021

My colleague Dave DiGregorio noticed this morning that Google has a “New on Google” label that is showing beside listings in both the local pack results and the local finder. ‘ This feature can be really useful for keeping an eye on your competition and also identifying listings for your own brand that recently got…

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Google Maps Highlighting Businesses That Have Posted Recently

By Joy Hawkins / April 15, 2021

Today I spotted a test that Google is doing on the Google Maps app. So far, none of my colleagues have been able to reproduce this themselves.  What I’m noticing is that Google is adding a red dot and drawing attention to the “Updates” tab for businesses that have recently added a Google post. From…

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Google Clarifies Phone Numbers Are Not Allowed in Google My Business Posts

By Joy Hawkins / April 7, 2021

Many of us in the local search industry know that including phone numbers in Google My Business posts often results in the post getting rejected.  However, as of today, Google has finally added this to their guidelines. In the help article on Google Posts policies, Google has added the following: Phone stuffing To avoid the…

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Google My Business Launches Tool to Manage Review Removal Requests

By Joy Hawkins / March 16, 2021

Google has just launched a new handy tool to help people keep track of reviews they have reported to Google for removal.  If you visit this link it will bring you to a page where you can select your business and see a list of the reviews that you currently have reported and a list…

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Google Adding Stars to Review Snippets

By Joy Hawkins / February 3, 2021

Tom Waddington recently tweeted that Google is showing star ratings now in the review snippets section of the Knowledge Panel. First time I’ve seen the star rating appear with the review snippet here pic.twitter.com/gXoP0mG7hn — Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) February 3, 2021 Here is a before and after screenshot that shows how this compares with what…

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Google Updates The Options to Flag a Review

By Joy Hawkins / January 22, 2021

My colleague Zach Mallett just noticed that Google updated their options for flagging a review inside the Google My Business dashboard.  This is what it looks like: What’s Changed? The descriptions below each option weren’t there before.  This is new and extremely helpful as it makes it much easier for a business owner to see…

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Google Now Shows Older Posts in the Knowledge Panel

Google Now Shows Older Posts in the Knowledge Panel

By Joy Hawkins / January 20, 2021

Brodie Clark pointed out yesterday that Google is now displaying Google Posts in the Knowledge panel even if they were posted over 7 days ago. Nice one for Local SEOs to be aware of. Now seeing standard Posts appears from months back by default. Would show for 7 days previously, then “expire” and become hidden…

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