Google’s Latest API Update: Everything You Need to Know

It’s that time again — Google launched version 4.4 of its Google My Business (GMB) API today. This update includes changes and enhancements to how Google treats service area businesses, a new metric to assess your customer engagement, and more.

Today’s update includes:

Postcard Verification and Other Updates for Service Area Businesses

Great news for landscapers, plumbers, repair services, and more — businesses with a local service area can now initiate verification via API. Instead of pushing customers to visit their offices or stores, “service area businesses” bring their services to customers within a certain geographic area. Previously, these businesses could not initiate verification for their GMB listings by postcard. Now, they can provide an address parameter in the API to initiate the verify-by-postcard process.

Additionally, the PointRadius field in the GMB API is now read-only. If you want to edit or create a service area business, you must specify your service areas by a list of places instead (e.g., regions, cities, ZIP codes).

Google Maps Follower Count

Google users can follow your business on Google Maps. When they follow you, they’ll see any Google Posts you create in their For You tab. Now, you can see how engaged your local customers are by pulling your follower count by location directly from the GMB API. Please note that this update does not let you see who has followed you, only how many followers you have.

See Locations That Have Pending Edits

When a business’s address or phone number radically changes — say it moves across town — Google requires that business to be manually reviewed to ensure the new data is accurate. Since this manual review process can take anywhere from minutes to days, you deserve to know whether your business is in this pending state. Now, you can check the status of your business update via the GMB API.

Create User and Location Groups

If you want to sort your locations by brand or region — or allow regional employees access only to the locations they manage — you can create location or user groups within GMB. Now, you can create those groups programmatically via the GMB API.

Schedule Future Opening Dates

Want to make your grand opening a success? Make sure Google Maps users know that your business is opening soon! You can now set opening dates in the future for your business. Google enabled this feature directly in the GMB dashboard at the end of 2018, and has now added it to the API as well.

Interested in using Yext to manage your GMB account? Contact your Yext representative to get started or sign up for a demo of the Yext platform today.

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