Google Announces New Structured Data for COVID-19 Business Updates

As of April 3, 2020, Google announced it will be offering site owners and developers a new way of publishing important information about their business regarding COVID-related changes.

SpecialAnnouncement structured data is now available for businesses to share important announcements to would appear in Google Search results. 

Google Search Update COVID-19

Google’s announcement included a sample markup code site developers (or SEOs) can use to add to their sites. To those who are less familiar with working with markup codes, you can also submit a COVID-19 announcement update via Google Search Console.

COVID-Related Announcement Examples

  • On-site closures 
  • Overall business and/or changes to hours of operation
  • Travel restrictions
  • Drive-through or curbside pick-up options
  • Shopping restrictions
  • Online consultation/scheduling options
  • Shelter-in-place initiatives

Business Hour Updates

You can find more on Google’s recommended announcements here.  Google also mentioned that if you wanted to get certain information, such as business hour updates, featured in the search engines you have a few options. To report changes of business hours that’ll appear in the knowledge graph on both Google Search and Maps, you can do so through the Google My Business dashboard and/or by a LocalBusiness markup. 

While the SpecialAnnouncements feature was introduced at the beginning of April, it’s still in beta and not completely live for all industries – yet. As Google Search’s Danny Sullivan pointed out on Twitter, SpecialAnnouncement snippets may not be showing up on SERPs yet for everyone but should be soon. In an effort to prioritize the most critical information, snippets will begin to show for Health & Government organizations first. However, all impacted businesses are encouraged to use the SpecialAnnouncement markups.

The Muses Digital, Inc. is here to support businesses through COVID-19 hardships. Complete our contact form below for information on our digital marketing services and free website audit.

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