The other day I was doing the local SEO thing and called Google My Business support to get a client’s duplicate listing removed. After a pretty standard conversation about merging this dupe removed we hung up. A few minutes later I got a call, and it was the Google rep I just spoke with letting me know that their “Places Consult Team” had requested that we add hours of operation for the business to the My Business listing.
Seemed like a pretty random request so I asked what that had to do with getting a dupe removed and was told that having hours of operation listed is a requirement for My Business listings and unless we add it they won’t merge the listings. Now I am pretty familiar with the local guidelines, and other then stating that you should be able to serve customers during you listed hours, or that you should be available for phone verification during your listed hours there is nothing about requiring business hours in that document. The rep volunteered to send me some documentation explaining the requirement, but so far that hasn’t happened. There were some other choice nuggets that I am going to assume are because the local support team is undertrained and over worked, but since I got a call back over the business hours I’m wondering if there isn’t something else going on…
14 Response Comments
Andrew that’s been an unwritten rule for a long time. Read between the lines in the guidelines and you’ll see hints, but it’s not spelled out.
“should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours”
“your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours”
So I believe in their thinking, a business listed on maps should be open to walk in traffic during business hours.
If there are no hours that could mean it’s online only which isn’t allowed. OR by appointment only which is either not allowed or can’t display address, depending on the specific situation.
That’s my take anyway. Maybe Mike has more insights.
What interested me was being explicitly told that it is a written rule and that their team wouldn’t take action on a dupe otherwise. An overzealous support staff member? Maybe, but the callback made me think that someone internally had communicated that to him. Also, still no accompanying documentation.
Same exact think happened to us today via email…
Please update the hours of operation. Once you have done that we can work on getting the page verified
If it is mandatory, it should be a required field and force you to add them.
One question that I have is if you were to do as per the request from Google. Will adding the schema markup for business hours to your website help?
The question is slightly unrelated so feel free to ignore it.
I don’t think it’s a rule as much as it’s a signal they use to determine if a business should be listed on the map or not.
There are MANY rules they don’t put in the guidelines, because they feel it just gives spammers and scammers a clear set of things to avoid.
So you have learn to read between the lines or learn which unwritten rules are out there, so you don’t inadvertently trip a filter.
Its so obvious as to why Google wants hours of operation. I don’t think that its because they want local businesses to have “walk-in” hours.
Its for Google Now!!!
They want it for mobile. To be able to tell people that are looking up a local business, that it is currently closed.
So unless you have a real brick and mortar business I would just set the hours as high as you can. 24/7 anyone?
I was under the impression that it was 100% about having the info on your Google My Business page, not as a ranking or location signal, just as a pre-requisite to do a dupe merge/removal.
I’m working on a post at the Local Search Forum that goes into more detail on all this. Almost done, just need to create the image.
It seems like they have been making this quite clear for sometime however I am still not sure what to do for businesses that operate 24/7. For example, some plumbing and electrical companies run a 9-5 office however they also offer 24 hour emergency services. Any suggestions on what hours to use in those instances?
Andrew, that is strange, I had a call with them the other day doing the same thing and they didn’t call me back or told me to list Hours of Operation. Thanks for the post.
At first I thought it was a rogue support staff member being over zealous but he insisted that he was told that from the “Places Consult Team”
Since the 2 you are referring to are Service Area businesses (noone brings their stopped up toilet or faulty wiring to you – you go to them), then having hours listed as 24/7 is perfectly fine, as long as there is someone available to assist searching customers 24/7.
I was trying to list hours from 7 AM to 1:30 AM and the system won’t accept it. It changes it to 7 AM to 12 AM. Can someone tell me how to do that?