SEO Experts Say Google’s Stance on Keywords in Google My Business to Improve Rankings is Inaccurate
Practically setting a record for backtracking in the wake of controversy, Google is rethinking a recent Google My Business (GMB) change just 24 hours after launching, due to a wave of criticism over some new recommendations.
Earlier this week, Google launched a new “Describe your business(es)” section in the “Improve your local ranking on Google” page of the Google My Business (GMB) Help site. The section encouraged local business owners to start including relevant keywords in their GMB descriptions that customers would use to find their business within their listings.
Source: Search Engine Land
It’s safe to say that this did not go over well within the SEO community, and within just one day, Google removed its suggestion to use keywords in GMB descriptions in the Google help document.
So, Why the Outrage?
The main reason Google’s recommendation was so controversial was the fact that it wasn’t exactly accurate.
Many local SEO experts have spoken out about the recommendation, arguing that GMB descriptions have no role in rankings when it comes to local search results.
We've tested a few times and keywords in the business description did not appear to impact rankings. So either Google changed something (doubtful) or they really should update this content quick before SEOs keyword stuff the hell out of every description on GMB. @GoogleMyBiz https://t.co/l4EZmmXqsN
— Darren Shaw (@DarrenShaw_) February 12, 2020
In fact, some have pointed out that for Google to use keywords in GMB descriptions as a ranking factor would an actually invite and encourage even more spam listings.
So, What Now?
The key lesson here is not to try and keyword spam to manipulate your rankings.
However, Google has kept in its suggestion to give it as many signals as possible about your business in your description.
“[A]dding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches from customers,” said Google.