Google Releases New Feature for Finding and Sharing Business Profiles
Recently, Google released a new feature for Google My Business (GMB) listings that offers users an easier way to search and share a business online. The new feature is called a profile short name, and it appears under the “Info” tab of the GMB panel. This feature is extremely new, as it has only been rolled out on about 1% of GMB profiles thus far. However, this new addition to the GMB panel can be extremely useful because it will give your customers a more accessible way of finding and sharing information about your business online.
What the GMB Short Names Look Like
As mentioned above, a Google My Business short name will be located in the “Info” tab of the panel with an @ sign before it. In theory, it will function like tagging a business on other social media platforms. Businesses can choose their own short names, which can contain their business’ name and location.
The only restrictions on these short names are that they must have between five and thirty-two characters and they cannot violate any Google policies, such as using a name that contains something offensive or spammy. It is not recommended to use keywords in these short names because they are supposed to help connect users with businesses, and spamming conflicts with this goal.
In order to create your short name, you must verify your GMB profile. Additionally, short names can only be changed up to three times per year. Below is an example of a profile short name:
Why Your Business Should Create a Short Name
Short names are a notable addition to GMB profiles. As Google has been changing their service to keep more users on the search engine results page (SERP), more and more businesses have been using their GMB profiles as a way to get leads, show photos/reviews, and achieve a greater online presence. Before short names, it was not easy for businesses to share GMB profile links with customers. Now, your business can link to your GMB profile more easily.
For example, one benefit for businesses is the ability to easily share this GMB short name link with a customer willing to write a review. Historically, the URLs were long and ugly and short names hope to overcome that hurdle.
Future Possibilities Using GMB Short Names
This feature is still in its trial stages, but there could be a lot more to come. Currently, businesses cannot see statistics about the usage of their short name links. However, in the future, these links could provide another way to measure traffic to your business’ site. Additionally, short names could entice users to interact with other aspects of your GMB profile. As with any new Google My Business feature, it is important to explore and utilize it. Check out your GMB profile and see if you already have a short name; if not, now is the time to add one.