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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 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 is Testing Opening Dates in the Local Packs

Google is Testing Opening Dates in the Local Packs

By Joy Hawkins / January 25, 2021

Recently I have spotted a test that Google is doing that prominently displays how long a business has been open: This is something I have only spotted a few times so it is something Google is testing and is not fully rolled out. Google is taking this from the opening date inside the GMB dashboard:…

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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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Google Adds Google Guaranteed Badges to Google Maps

By Joy Hawkins / November 18, 2020

Tom Waddington just alerted me that Google is now showing Google Guaranteed badges on Google Maps.  You can see an example here for Simpson Air: We’ve only been able to spot this label on businesses that are a part of the Google Guaranteed program with Local Services Ads.  Google Screened listings do not have it…

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Hijacked GMB Listing

Hijacked Google My Business Listings On The Rise

By Joy Hawkins / November 6, 2020

In the last couple of months, we’re seeing a large increase in the number of Google My Business listings that are getting hijacked.  A hijack is when a malevolent user gets a hold of a listing that they don’t own and changes the core information on it to something that they can benefit from. For…

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Video: Last Week in Local 10/12/20

By Joy Hawkins / October 13, 2020

Last Week in Local is a look back at the interesting and important articles from the previous week. It is 20-30 minutes long and covers critical industry trends, interesting local news, and tactical insights for anyone interested in Local Search. ?️ Subscribe to the Podcast ? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel ? Subscribe to the…

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Google Adding Call Buttons in Local Knowledge Panels

By Joy Hawkins / August 6, 2020

A week ago, Tom Waddington spotted a call button in the local knowledge panel.  I wasn’t able to replicate it, and neither could most of the people we asked.  However, as of this morning, I’m able to see it, along with all my colleagues which makes me think Google is rolling it out more widely.…

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Google My Business Adds Online Operating Hours Feature

By Joy Hawkins / August 6, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, Ben Fisher tweeted that Google My Business had added a new type of hours in the dashboard called “online operating hours”. Krystal Taing pointed out this week that these hours are finally showing up in the search results. Although this originally appears as a solution for businesses that answer phones…

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Google My Business Products Change

By Joy Hawkins / August 3, 2020

There was a change recently to the way Google displayed the Products section in Google My Business. At first glance, this was just a change to the layout but it also changed how Products are populated in the Knowledge Panel.  Previously, you could control which products showed up in the Knowledge Panel (it only shows 3)…

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