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Google adds 'Black-owned' business attribute to local listings

Verified Google My Business profile owners in the U.S. can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their listings.

Business attributes are highlighted as icons when customers view a business’ profile on mobile, as shown below.

The new Black-owned business attribute. Source: Google.

Why we care

Google said it has seen “a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses” in recent months — a period in which the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum. Distinguishing Black-owned businesses in local search may help those businesses attract visibility in Search and Maps and gain customers.

“With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” Jewel Burks, head of Google for Startups U.S. said in Thursday’s announcement.

Google is also adding the new attribute to its digital skills training program Grow with Digital Coaches, an initiative designed to help Black and Latinx small businesses reach new customers.

More on the news

  • In addition, the company said it is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., an organization that includes 145 Black Chambers of Commerce and 326,000 members nationwide, to spread awareness for the new attribute.
  • Google also announced the inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders on Thursday. 
  • In April, more than 40% of Black business owners reported that they weren’t working, compared to only 17% of white small business owners, according to an analysis of government data reported on by The New York Times.
  • In 2018, Google introduced family-led, veteran-led and women-led attributes in Google My Business.

Update: The family-led attribute is no longer available for Google My Business profiles. “We had conducted a short experiment with a family-led attribute in 2018, and have since concluded it. We strive to organize information in an inclusive way and are continually reviewing ways that we can help businesses share more about what makes their business unique via attributes on Google,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land.

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