Google unveils Search and Maps features to support local businesses

Get a free Techzine subscription!

Google announced new features for Search and Maps to help small businesses better connect with customers during the corona crisis.

Google makes it easier for businesses to inform customers when the company is offering new online services. Google expands the company profile with the possibility to add news tags, such as ‘online classes’ to keep customers informed. The company profile is the information panel that appears next to the search results when users search for a specific company. The new tags are also visible in Maps.

Google makes it easier for customers to make appointments with companies that focused on providing digital services in corona time. The tech giant wants to integrate the Reserve with Google feature with more business appointment management tools, including industry-specific products for companies such as wellness resorts.

Support for local businesses

Google Maps now allows customers to order food directly from 25.000 restaurants. According to Google, the service already handles more than half-million food requests per week. Companies struggling with the economic impact of the coronavirus can ask users for donations or gift vouchers via links in their company profile. This feature has now been extended to 18 countries worldwide.

Since February, Google Search saw a 700 percent increase in users looking for ways to help small businesses. “People around the world are looking for ways to support bookstores, local bars, beloved dance studios and other businesses that characterise their neighbourhood, even remotely,” Google’s senior vice president Fitzpatrick wrote in a blog post.