Google’s Danny Sullivan confirms that marking a Google My Business listing as temporarily closed will not harm rankings or visibility.
As businesses shut their doors to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Google introduced a “temporarily closed” indicator in Google My Business.
Initially there was concern about this indicator negatively impacting search rankings.
A concerned business owner reached out to Sullivan suggesting Google should introduce a solution that wouldn’t lead to reduced visibility in search.
That’s important as some businesses are still operating online even though their physical location in closed.
Here is Sullivan’s response:
Temporarily closed doesn’t impact ranking or visibility.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) March 30, 2020
Previously, Google’s guidance explicitly stated that closed businesses will appear on Google with reduced visibility.
As captured in this screenshot from Tharindu G, a warning would appear before marking a business as temporarily closed.
As of March 30, Google has officially updated its guidance regarding temporary closures of businesses affected by COVID-19.
A temporarily closed business will now be treated the same as an open business:
“If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers…
Marking your business temporarily closed will not affect search ranking and it will be treated similar to open businesses.”
This is a brand new change that Google just rolled out. Sullivan says the company plans to have better messaging about it soon.
For now, the most important thing to note is you can mark a business as temporarily closed without consequence.
After doing so, Google will display the following message on the business’s profile in search results.
Now that you know there’s no impact to search rankings, here’s how to mark a business as temporarily closed.
Google My Business: Temporarily Closed
To make a business profile appear as temporarily closed on Google Maps and Search, follow the steps below:
- Sign in to Google My Business on desktop.
- In the menu on the left, click Info.
- To the right, point to the section “Close this business on Google.”
- Expand this section and click click “Mark as temporarily closed.”
Source: Google My Business Help
What should I do if my business is temporarily closed due to COVID-19?
Update your Google My Business listing to keep customers informed as to the actions you’re taking in response to the coronavirus outbreak.