Why You Should Think Twice About Activating GMB Messaging
Joy Hawkins

Recently, Sherry Bonelli alerted me to a rather disturbing fact about the Google My Business messaging feature.  When she went to a Google My Business listing and clicked on the “Request a Quote” button, she saw something that the business owner might not like.  After submitting her quote, it gave her a screen that asked if she wanted to send the quote request as well to other businesses, who are competitors of the one she just contacted.

Request a Quote - GMB

I tried to replicate this and was able to.  I tried the “request a quote” button on 3 different GMB listings (different cities, not related at all) before I got one that did this.  It’s important to note that this did not happen on every listing I tested it on and it only happened on mobile devices (not computers).  Similar to Sherry, after submitting a quote to a lawn care business, I was prompted to send my quote to 2 other competitors in their area:

The steps I took to get this screen were:

  1.  I went to Google.com on my phone in Chrome and did a keyword search.
  2.  I clicked on a specific business that opened up its knowledge panel.
  3. I clicked “request a quote” on that business and submitted my request.
  4. The image above was what I saw next.

I also wanted to see if this would happen if I searched for a specific business in step 2 and it did.

The steps that were taken:

  1.  I went to Google.com on my phone in Chrome.
  2. I searched the specific name of an insurance agent (branded search).
  3. I clicked “request a quote” on that agent’s listing and submitted my request.
  4. The image below is what I saw (note: I contacted an Allstate agent, both recommendations were State Farm agents)

Why Should I Care?

As someone that advises business owners, I feel strongly that this is a terrible experience for them.  While it might be helpful to consumers, it’s generally not a business’s best interests to prompt their leads to contact their competition as well.  Google has been really pushing the messaging feature lately , but given this fact, I think it’s best to think twice before activating it.