On its Twitter page, the Google My Business team announced that businesses marked as temporarily closed because of the pandemic will be able to retain their rankings. You can now "keep customers updated on your status without affecting search rankings," as posted on their timeline.
To mark your business closed, Google suggested going to this link for details: t.co/oAPn2mgoKQ
The feature was a recent addition and one of the measures the search engine giant is providing to affected business owners.
One user asked for clarifications. What does "without affecting search rankings" mean?
A staff, Yan Gilbert, explained: "When they first rolled out the Temp Closed status last week, it would basically hide your listing. They have fixed that issue now and marking as Temp Closed no longer affects rankings."
If you have an existing digital marketing campaign handled by an SEO company, then this is a piece of good news.
For businesses that require a physical office to carry out operations and have no choice but to close, you can rest easy. There will be no ranking fluctuations to keep you on your toes. Everyone is on the same boat anyhow.
So until this quarantine runs its course, it is best to follow government guidelines.
What the team failed to clear, however, was how frequently businesses would be able to use the Temporarily Closed feature. Suppose a business re-opens temporarily only to close again. Would the same rules still apply or can businesses only use the feature once?
In a future post, the team would probably find time to answer such queries. Regardless, not having to monitor search rankings all the time while the global economy is in shambles is a welcome respite for every business owner. For their peace of mind.