The "Business Description" Returns to Google My Business: What You Need To Know
It’s been almost two years since Google My Business dropped the ability to edit the business description field. Once the ability to edit your business description was removed from GMB the only way to edit your business description was by going to aboutme.google.com and editing it there.
Fast forward almost two years and the business description editing capabilities have returned to Google My Business.
What Exactly is the Business Description?
The official name of the new feature is simply “Description From the Business”. The descriptions will be an optional addition to GMB listings that listing owners can choose to write and add themselves. These descriptions will display on business listings when they appear on Google Search.
These “Descriptions From the Business” will not replace the Google editorial summary that shows at the top of many Knowledge Panels and Map listings for a business.
How Do I Add a Description to My Listing?
You can add the description a few different ways:
- GMB Dashboard
- Spreadsheet Upload
When in the “Info” section of your GMB dashboard you will see the option to add the business description.
Business Description Guidelines
The guidelines for representing your business on Google have been updated to reflect the addition of the business description.
Google has also updated the “Edit Your Business Listing” section of the help center to reflect some additional guidelines.
Additional Considerations to Be Aware Of
- Multi-location brands are ok to use a standard message across all listings if they choose to
- Email addresses are ok to include in the description
- Description will appear in the Knowledge Panel in a similar placement to Google Posts
If you are not seeing the business description in your GMB dashboard don’t panic. As of today the feature is not 100% rolled out but should be by the end of next week.
Are you seeing the new feature in your GMB dashboard?
This Post Has 30 Comments
Thank you for the detailed post. I don’t see this in any of our accounts yet. We will wait and see
Don’t see them yet… keeping an eye out for them 🙂
Thanks for letting us know Andy!
The aboutme link was a new one.
And the bit about email addresses, nice find.
Plus, the image that states 750 characters, good to know.
I have seen the field and wonder if keywords will help at all. Got any ideas? Will it help with ranking or relevance?
Hey Jennifer, a few years ago when the business description existed, Google stated that it wasn’t factored into the ranking algorithm. My guess is that will remain the case in it’s present incarnation.
Nothing in my UK accounts so far…
Thanks for the update Malcolm. My gut tells me by the end of the week.
Nothing seen yet in southern California. Do see however a new “Home” page under client GMB Dashboard. First impression not good.
Thanks for the heads up!
It is appearing here in Melbourne, Australia – at least in the listings that we manage.
Great news! Thanks for letting us know.
thanks for your post.
I have a question: how is it possible to use this functionality via API? It seems to be not available for the moment.
Thanks in advance
It’s possible that it hasn’t rolled out to the API just yet. Keep an eye out.
Just found it in the UK and updated my business details. Thanks for the ‘heads up’.
We see it here in the UK for majority of our customers. However, we are having an issue with making them appear on the listing – Google is constantly removing it via “Google Updates”. Every single day we discard the update, but it always comes back and “suggests” to remove the description. Very annoying…
Hey Rada, there is likely something in the description that Google doesn’t “like”. Remove any excessive capitalization, the business name, and make sure it meets all the requirements in the guidelines – https://goo.gl/cTnCCS
I can also confirm the feature is available in Australia. 🙂 Thanks for the great article Colan!
Very informative, as always.
Hey Andreea! Thank you. And thanks for letting us know.
Glad I caught this. It is showing up here in Southern Maryland. I was surprised how long of a description you could fit in 750 characters. I’ll have to block out some time and write a better one and go back and change it.
Thanks Dave. Think of it as your businesses elevator pitch. What we also like to do is pull ideas from top performing ads from our AdWords campaigns 🙂
I have done one in a new listing that I just took over. I added the text and it is now marked as published, but in search as well as in Google Maps the information is not visible. Do you have a sample of one that is published? I was greedy and used all 750 characters. It is about 24 hours since initiated. Do you think it is only displayed based on the query?
Hey David, nothing has been confirmed yet but I think there is a bug that happened in the last 24 hours that is causing the issue you are experiencing. We are experiencing it too. Should be resolved soon.
Thank you very much. I thought i was going crazy. I would never have found that you must have the magic pipeline! Patience is a virtue. Does this mean Google is not perfect?
Thanks for this Colan – well summed up. Is there any way to change the editorial summary?
Hey Jon, Google states in their help center that editorial summaries can be removed “if the information included describes services that the business doesn’t offer.”
The first printscreen you show and the explanation for getting the GMB description refer to different fields.
My Business is in GMB but I have both the old and the new description in my business when I search for my brand name.
I asked Google support and they answered me that the old one are generated automatically (when Google crawl my Website/Social Media and then generate that) and the new is the one that I entered on the Description field.
Hey Vinicius, that sounds correct. Here’s Google’s help center document on the old descriptions which are called editorial summaries – https://support.google.com/business/answer/6088158?hl=en
Is anybody noticing the GMB listing descriptions are not appearing on desktop local knowledge graphs lately? I’ve noticed this for several major brands lately.
Is Google just testing as usual?
Yes there seems to be a bug that is preventing them from appearing on desktop. It’s possible that they are testing but we haven’t heard an official announcement yet.
Anyone knows if this description field is available for updating through GMB API?