Google’s New AI Feature May Be Giving Your Clients False Information
Over the next few months, Google will apply a new AI system that aims to detect and make changes to local business opening hours.
Experts argue that this will impact around twenty-million Google Business Profiles. But, unfortunately, this feature could mean the wrong information is being shown to clients.
Ensuring your business information is displayed correctly is vital. Following news of Google’s new features, we are running down a list of what you can do to protect the validity of your company’s Google profile.
Why This Has Happened
Google saw a disruption to the accuracy of their local business index following the COVID-19 pandemic. With such changes to local business operations following Covid lockdowns, updating opening hours on google may be a low priority for owners. Therefore, Google is introducing a system that aims to do this for them.
Yet, as we all can agree, technology can sometimes fail us. For example, although Google has seen success with its AI technology, there is a risk of incorrect opening hours being shared alongside company addresses.
Google’s AI technology has caused alarm among business owners due to Google’s methods of deriving information. The internet giant aims to predict an organisation’s opening hours based on the hours of businesses similar to them. So, for example, if you are running a pet shop which runs 9-5, Google’s AI may detect this to be incorrect as the pet shop down the road runs from 8-4.
Another proposed feature is using street view to locate any signs displaying opening hours. But, again, this feels like a risky move considering many of the photographs taken by Google may be old. In many cases, they can date back over a decade.
This is not totally new. Since the beginning of local search history, Google has relied on crowdsourced information to optimise its local business index. Throughout this time, local businesses have expressed concern over this method, seeing as false information could quickly be supplied. What separates this new development from Google’s previous methods of crowdsourcing, is that they are sourcing information online.
How to Protect Your Google Business Profile
To ensure your Google Business Profile stays accurate, you need to signal to Google that you are keeping up with it. This will prevent any potential unwanted changes and inaccurate information from being displayed.
It’s also vital that your company’s website displays the correct opening hours and address, as this is one of the first places that Google will check.
If there are any updates to your hours of operation, whether changes within the Christmas period or in the event another pandemic descends onto the world, again, please make sure these are put on your website.
Taking the time to edit your site will signify to Google that you are up to date. This will prevent Google from stepping in and making unwanted changes.
You never know when a Google Maps car may be in the area, so it may be beneficial to make sure opening hours are displayed in the window.
Ultimately, it is always a good idea to regularly check how your company appears on Google, to ensure that everything is correct and up to date. Puddle Agency can help keep your website up to date and provide all online information is accurate.
Call us today on 0113 8561930 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help.