Google Improves Live Busyness Information Feature
Live busyness information is now becoming an important feature that businesses should start taking into consideration when planning Google Maps SEO strategies. Launched in 2016, live busyness information gives information to users and local maps SEO experts about how busy a place or an establishment is at a specific time.
Generally, this information is shown when Google Maps users type in the name of a specific place. However, going forward, this information will be displayed even if users are not looking for a specific place to go to.
Moreover, Google is expanding this feature, and it is expected to cover millions of places worldwide. Various updates have been put in place, and each one changes the way people use Maps local search.
Live Busyness In Maps
With the pandemic, Google Maps users find the live busyness feature to be useful for avoiding crowded places. Data shows that there is an increase in the number of people using the live busyness tool ever since the pandemic began.
According to Google, there was a 50 per cent increase in the engagement of the feature – mostly between March and May. Users compared data as they tapped and scrolled to find the best time to visit the places they’re interested in.
Because the demand for the live busyness feature is increasing, Google has made several updates for it to become more accessible. Thus, they are working on it so that Maps users can see the live busyness information even if they are not looking for a specific place.
Locations in Google Maps will be marked with a certain category. For instance, a place or an establishment can show as “not busy”, “busier than usual”, and “as busy as it gets”. This gives users the choice to skip visiting places that have a lot of people present.
Greater Coverage And More Accuracy
Since June 2020, live busyness information has become five times more popular worldwide. Before, the feature was only limited to establishments, but now, Google has made it possible to include outdoor areas, like parks and beaches, as well as essential locations like gas stations, grocery stores, laundrettes, and pharmacies.
Moreover, Google is making the feature more useful during times when it is hard to predict foot traffic.
In the past, Google has relied on historical data to estimate the number of customers entering the establishment at a specific time. However, that data is not reliable anymore due to the pandemic.
This is because, nowadays, businesses are either closing temporarily or reducing their work hours. Social distancing measures have also become a factor in foot traffic.
In order to produce more accurate data, Google has updated its popular times algorithms. According to them, they began favouring more recent data from the previous four to six weeks.
This allows them to adapt to changing patterns for live busyness information. Updating their algorithm this way proved to be efficient, as they said that they could even show live data in Google Maps.
Google has also been using Duplex conversational technology to call businesses and verify their Local Search and Maps info.
Since April 2020, the information has helped make more than 3 million updates, such as updated hours of operation, store inventory information for popular products, as well as delivery and pickup options.
If you own a local business, then you probably already know the different ways to market your brand online. One of the best ways to do this is to rank in Google Maps using local maps SEO. In doing so, you can reach potential customers who heavily rely on this app to find the products and services that they need at businesses near them.
Here at Position1SEO, we use effective Google Maps SEO strategies to help you cast a wider net to reach more potential customers in your local area. Call us on 0141 404 7515 or email us at email@example.com today!