Google’s local platform, Google My Business has been seen automatically adding “services” to your profile.
The services are mostly only visible on the back-end of your profile and are rarely shown to users. There is also little evidence that these directly impact your map or finder rankings in Google. However, if one thing about Google is true it is that they are always looking for more data points to help improve the quality of rankings. There’s also the fact that no matter how much PR they push out it is well-known that Google Maps / Finder SERPs are still filled with spam and fake listings, nearly 7 years after GMB was first launched. Those two combined mean Google may eventually use these services and user feedback about them as ranking signals in the near future.
The automation is crawling through a website and trying to determine what services, if any, a local business provides and then populates those inside of that specific business locations GMB. You will not get an email notification about this either, you will have to login to Google My Business to see this for yourself. The automation is decent but far from perfect and some local SEOs are reporting inaccurate services being added to their listing, make sure you remove those as quickly as possible to keep from confusing potential customers and from possibly ranking on services you are not relevant for.
GMB Folks – Anyone notice 'Services' being automatically updated in GMB "based on feedback from customers"? Listings are for a construction company but showing health care services. This happened last week, had to manually remove them from all listings. Magically back again today pic.twitter.com/tvVlzeEHSg
— Ryan Mews (@RyanMews) October 2, 2020
This was originally spotted by Ryan Mews, an SEO at Merkle, back in October of 2020 in what may have been a test (see embedded tweet above)
🧐 GMB auto suggesting services taken directly from your website! You can edit/delete as necessary. Check your listings now it seems to be rolling out for some accounts. #localseo #smallbiz @rustybrick pic.twitter.com/d5PQUkiCOX
— Andy Simpson (@ndyjsimpson) February 9, 2021
The automation was spotted again earlier this month by Local SEO Andy Simpson who also posted about it to Twitter.