Sundar Pichai had mentioned while speaking about Google’s initial responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that they would give business owners a solution to mark themselves as ‘temporarily closed’.
With that feature in place, users would be able to find businesses that are open in their area both on Google Maps and on Google Search and not wander around longer than is strictly necessary.
Google has finally published instructions on how businesses can update their profiles and mark themselves as ‘temporarily closed’ on both Search and Maps.
Google My Business owners can go to “Close the business on Google” from the menu. That section now shows three options – “Mark as temporarily close”, “Mark as permanently closed”, and “Remove listing”.
“If you have multiple profiles, select the profile you want to change then follow steps 2 and 3 above to mark your businesses as temporarily closed,” instructions read.
Google also suggests that if your business has temporarily adjusted hours and non-persistent closures, you can use the “special hours” feature to keep customers up to date.
Earlier, Google was just relying on information from governments and other sources to mark a business open or closed.
How well this will, or won’t, work depends entirely on the businesses remembering to update their status. Google had previously mentioned that they are using AI technology to ask certain businesses to confirm and update their operating hours.