Google emphasizes ‘Message this business’ in new local search test

Take notice, Google is testing a more prominent look for the messaging feature in the local search results. Is your business ready to manage text messages from your customers?

Chat with SearchBot

Google is testing a bigger push for the messaging option within the local panel. Google launched messaging within Google My Business in July 2017. Google is now testing a way to promote messaging more to searchers in the local panel by using a larger message button.

What it looks like. Local SEO and Search Engine Land columnist Joy Hawkins posted a screen shot on Twitter of the test.

Google Local Panel Message Button

Here is the normal interface. Those not in the test will instead see a “message” icon next to the call, directions, web site, and other call-to-action icons.

Gmb Message Icon

Why it matters. If Google does roll out the new interface to promote the messaging feature in the local panel, and  a lot of businesses begin using it, then customers might expect that your business use it as well. Maintaining and managing messaging within Google My Business can be done using the new Google My Business app, via the Google My Business web portal or via your phone’s text messaging app. It can add a new opportunity for you to get more business, but at the same time, add more workload to your already busy work day.

About the author

Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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