Humanity has longed to find the answers to certain questions. Like is Mars habitable? Can dogs look up? And do keywords in a Google My Business description influence rankings?
I didn’t want to write this post, but GMB has forced my hand. Some recent events that have unfolded have been a real dumpster fire and they need to be documented.
Despite the title of this post being a question (you’d expect an answer within), I’d rather just surface all of the information and allow you to make up your own mind.
I did a tweet and it got a fair bit of exposure – as any high quality story starts:
Well, that changes things for local SEO.— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) February 12, 2020
There’s now a section in the support doc saying that if you add keywords to your Google My Business description, it will result in higher visibility.
h/t @StefanSomborac @YanGilbertSEO for pointing this out: https://t.co/gLF9WfjhmM pic.twitter.com/5as7mpPgs3
Big whoop, right? Cool story BROdie… But at the time, this felt like a big change for Google and how they rank Google My Business listings.
You can click-through and see a lot of the discussion in the comments. Experienced local SEOs didn’t like it, some weren’t surprised, others were shocked.
Then Google updated their support documentation. They removed this information without any official statement:
OK, so G has now updated the ‘improve your local ranking’ support doc again. But now without the advice on using keywords in the ‘description’ field. Mistakes happen, but it’s a shame that an official statement wasn’t made. That type of thing helps build trust among SEOs and G. pic.twitter.com/KCeNvTnZUs— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) February 14, 2020
So we’re back to where we were. No one was obsessing about adding keywords to the ‘description’ field, keywords being added to the ‘name’ continued to be the bane of a local SEOs existence.
But then Brad showed up. Here’s what was said:
Hi there! The information in question is accurate. While it’s not guaranteed to improve the ranking, it could, depending on other factors, as well as information that is found online associated with the business. Send us a DM if you have any questions. Thanks! -Brad— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) February 19, 2020
This response was to a well-known local SEO specialist, Darren Shaw. Darren’s tweet was referencing my original tweet. So the response from GMB Support doesn’t make much sense…
The information in question can’t be accurate, that’s why it was removed from the support documentation. It is however useful getting this additional information, but why isn’t it reflected in the support doc?
As I said at the start of this post, interpret this however you want. I think I’m done with spending time mulling it over. Either way, I refuse to end this post by saying ‘it depends’.
*scenes from SEO twitter next week*
Twitter user: “@googlemybiz, if I were to add keywords to my Google Posts…”
Google My Biz: “how long you got?”