Google is placing even more importance on the quality of local business listings, as emphasized by their Google My Business (GMB) Insights updates.

On Tuesday, Google announced via their Small Business blog that several updates to their GMB Insights reporting will begin rolling out on an account-by-account basis. GMB is now reporting on how users find business listings on Google Search Engine results pages and maps results. By investing in business listing reports, Google underlines the importance of these listings in their local search results.

As Google continues to serve more and more local business information directly in Google Maps and Google Search, business listings are now your opportunity for a brand experience directly in organic search results.

Currently, GMB Insights allows businesses with verified Google business listings to see how many people are viewing and interacting with their listing by navigating to the website, clicking to make a phone call, or accessing driving directions. On occasion, Google will also report on users who click to view photos of the business.

With the updates announced on Tuesday, businesses will also be able to segment listing views in a couple of new ways to learn even more about how users are finding their business listing.

  1. Businesses will be able to see whether their listing was accessed via Google’s Search Engine or via Google Maps.


  1. Businesses will be able to see what type of search a user performed to find their business. User searches will be segmented into “Direct” or “Discovery” searches.
    1. Direct searches refer to users who type a local business’ brand name or address directly into the search bar in Google Search or Google Maps.
    2. Discovery searches refer to users who do a broad search for a type of local service, such as “storage in Bend, OR,” “assisted living in Houston, TX,” or “apartment buildings in Denver, CO.”


  1. With this update, Google will also be removing Google+ statistics from their business dashboard. This marks the continuing trend of Google separating its business listing and maps services from Google+.

At this time, there are a couple of limitations to GMB Insights.

  1. GMB Insights provides reporting into only one location at a time. Insights for multiple locations cannot be viewed or downloaded at the same time.
  2. GMB Insights can only be viewed for the past 90 days in Google’s dashboard.

How does this change affect G5 clients?

Optimizing Google business listings with photos, hours of operation, and the ability to respond to reviews is becoming increasingly more important for G5 clients so they can be found quickly.

What is G5 doing right now to leverage this change for our clients?

In addition to optimizing websites for traditional organic search, G5’s SEO team places an emphasis on claiming Google business listings and optimizing them with accurate information, photos, and other details. As Google invests in serving business listing information directly in their search and maps results, this service is driving value for G5 clients.

Google business listings offer a different way to display organically in search results, in addition to your website. As GMB Insights continue to improve, they allow G5 to monitor this traffic and attribute local brand interactions to your ongoing SEO service.

To learn more about Google My Business and local search engine optimization (SEO), check out The Guide to Expert SEO.