Google’s New Guidelines for Managing Business Hours on Search and Maps
Krystal Taing

Google recently updated their guidelines for businesses managing profiles on search and maps. The much welcomed update is aimed to provide clarity around how to manage your business information as well as share some reasons why you could run into challenges with the verification of your business.

One of the areas that was updated was guidance on publishing operating hours for your business. Published in the ‘Guidelines for representing your business on Google’ section, you can see the guidance provided for publishing business hours.

Hours are not only displayed on your profile, but can trigger you to show, or not to show, for specific queries. For example, you can see for some search results, Google will automatically include filters that searchers find relevant.

In this search, Google is automatically including an ‘Hours’ filter at the top of the map pack.

grocery stores nyc screenshot

The filter includes a few options and upon clicking, will adjust your results to include only the businesses that match the applied filter.

sort by hours grocery stores NYC screenshot grocery stores new york screenshot

Additionally, searches including terms such as ‘open now’ or ‘open late’ will apply similar filters to results. For businesses, it’s imperative to publish the appropriate hours your business is open to ensure you are displayed accurately and included in time based searches accordingly.

plumbers open now screenshot

Understanding how Google takes your operating hours into account and surfaces this to searches will guide you to setting the most appropriate hours for your business.

Google currently offers three types of hours to set for your business.

Primary Hours – these are the main hours that will display on your listing and are used for the above type filters. You can include two sets of hours per day which can represent a mid day closure.

Special Hours – these are temporary hours adjustments or closures that can be set by day. If you want to confirm the hours your business is operating on a holiday, publishing these for the defined holiday, even if they are the same as your primary hours, will display the following confirmation on search to users.

More Hours – If you have additional sets of services that have varying hours, you have the option to add More Hours to your business. These additional types of hours include options such as Happy Hour, Pick Up Hours, and Online Service Hours.

more hours screenshot

New guidance from Google discusses the businesses that should not set hours. Google shares:

Certain types of businesses shouldn’t provide hours, including those with varied hours (like schedules for different types of activities, including showtimes, worship services, or classes) and those that operate only by appointment. Examples of business that shouldn’t provide hours include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Indoor lodging such as: Hotels, motels, and apartment buildings/complexes
  • Schools and universities
  • Movie theaters
  • Transportation services and airports
  • Event venues and natural features

It’s not clear why Google is providing this updated guidance as the majority of these types of businesses do have standard operating hours. These business types also still have the ability to set primary operating hours within GBP directly. However in most cases, the primary hours are not displayed on search.

amc threatre southlake screenshot gbphotel motel Bonn Beethoven GBP
I’d assume Google is sharing this guidance because the actual movie times or check in times are more relevant for searchers, vs. the time that the physical business is open to the public.

amc southlake screen shot SERP + movie times bonn beethoven screenshot plus hotel finder

The challenge is that while lodging businesses can set the check-in and check-out times under the amenities section, many of the other supplemental hours such as event and movie times, can only be updated via third parties and on-page schema. It would be a welcomed change if Google plans to give businesses more control in publishing these directly via GBP.

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Krystal Taing is an expert in SEO and e-commerce with a specialization in local strategies. Over the past 10 years, she has helped multi-location brands overcome their marketing challenges by enhancing organic visibility, search rankings, and online-to-offline traffic. She is a highly respected authority in local search and a valuable resource for marketers and businesses.

Krystal is the Director of Pre-sales Solutions at Uberall and a Google Business Profile Product Expert.