Google My Business Updates from 2014 to 2021: A Quick Roundup

18 minutes read
Google My Business Updates from 2014 to 2021: A Quick Roundup

This post will walk you through all the updates of Google My Business starting from 2014 to the most recent ones. If you want to quickly navigate to the updates of a particular year, just click on the desired year below.

Table of Content

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free tool launched by Google in June 2014 which allows business owners to create their business profiles and list their business on Google which can be displayed in Google Search and Maps. All you need to do is get your business verified in Google My Business and get started.

Here’s how Google announced the launch of GMB back in 2014.

GMB is one of the easiest ways to ensure a staunch online presence for your store. With a fully optimized GMB listing, you can easily attract more business to your store. However, to keep your profile optimized, you need to watch out for GMB updates.

As Google My Business Updates are frequent, and sometimes major, they can make a huge difference. But, before we talk about GMB updates, let’s first understand what Google My Business is and how it works.

How can Google My Business help your Business?

Google My Business is an easy-to-use tool that allows business owners and organizations to manage their online presence across different locations using one account. Your presence will reach across Google, including Search and Maps.

It allows you to help your customers (walk-ins) find your business, tell them about the latest developments, verify your business, and even edit the details. And most importantly, you can do this all for free.

Here’s a list of some of the things you can add/edit to your GMB profile.

  • Business Name
  • Location
  • Logo/Photos/Videos
  • Operating Hours
  • Phone Number
  • Service Areas
  • Website Link
  • And Many More…

In addition to this, your customers can also add reviews to your GMB profile. Customer reviews provide your online presence with credibility and better odds of ranking higher in local search results. In other words, the more optimized your GMB listing is, the more likely you are to show up in results.

Here’s an example.

Example of GMB Profile

Without wasting any more time, let’s straightaway go to all the updates that came in Google My Business ever since it was launched in 2014.

Google My Business Updates

Given what Google My Business offers, you need to be aware of how it keeps evolving. Let’s take a look at all the Google My Business updates, starting with the latest first.

Checkout Google My Business 2021 updates in web story format

2021 Google My Business Updates

Oct, 2021

Google Starts Testing GMB Offer Posts as Justifications and also within Location Panels

Although it is still in the testing stage, this new GMB update is already making waves. With GMB offer posts, Google aims to provide new ways to display offers from businesses in the SERPs. As this update is likely to go live anytime, maybe it’s time to start churning out offer posts for your GMB account.

Sep, 2021

1. GMB Gets “Identifies as Latino-owned” Attribute

“Identifies as Latino-owned” is one of the latest to join a list of attributes to make it to the GMB. It is a part of an initiative taken by Google and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. You can use this attribute to attract customers who want to support Hispanic businesses.

GMB Gets Identifies as Latino-owned Attribute

2. GMB is Getting Rid of the Site Manager Role

GMB Is Getting Rid of The Site Manager Role

In 2021, Google dropped the Site Manager Role. Those with Site Manager roles will now become “Managers”, a role that will come into effect after 24th October.

Previously it was like this:

Site Manager Role Dropped

3. Ability to Manage GMB Profile Through Google Search and Maps

With this recent GMB update, you can now edit your business details directly through Google Search or Maps. There is no need to go to your GMB account dashboard as you did before. You just need to be signed in to your Google account to make the changes, which you can make on your phone, on the go.

Manage GMB Profile Through Google Search and Maps

Here’s how this GMB update works:

  • Sign in to your Google account linked to your GMB account.
  • Search the exact name of your business or organization or simply type in “my business.”
  • You can manage the profile directly. But, if needed, select View Profile and do the edits.
  • The search results will show three menus, Edit Profile, Promote, or Customers, which you can use to update your profile.

Jul, 2021

Google Discontinued Google Posts For Verified Knowledge Panels

As a part of the 2021 core update, Google decided to discontinue Google Posts for users with verified knowledge panels. As it happens, this GMB update affects only verified knowledge panels. You can still use the local Google Posts for local business panels.

Here is the tweet from Lily Ray replying to Barry Schwartz:

Jun, 2021

1. GMB Insights Dashboard Gets Directions and Website Clicks Metrics

In 2021, Google My Business updates also included a few changes to performance reports. “Driving Direction Requests” and “Website Visits,” two new metrics will now be available in your GMB performance reports. These updates intend to make performance reporting more efficient.

GMB Insights Dashboard

Here’s How You Can Access The Performance Report:

    • Sign in to your GMB account.
    • If you have multiple businesses, choose the listing you want.
    • Click on “Insights,” from the left side menu.
    • On the right side, you will see “See new profile performance.” Click on this menu to see the report.

New GMB Performance Report

  • Select the desired date range, click “Apply” to view the report.
2. Easily Show What Your Business Offers On Google

With this GMB update, business owners can add the products they have in stock to their Google My Business. This will allow people searching for your products on Google to see what you have in stock, increasing your chances of making a sale. As of now, US-based GMB users can use Pointy by Google to update their inventory automatically.

Easily Show What Your Business Offers On Google


May, 2021

1. Call history Report Now Showing the Data in Google My Business

As simple as a GMB update is, it’ll give more power to business owners. With the ability to keep track of phone calls that came through Maps and Search, you can engage your customers more actively. This feature is still in its test stage, and only selected businesses in the US can use it for now. But, the call history in Google will roll out soon.

Barry Schwartz shared this screenshot on Twitter:

If this feature is available, here’s how you can turn on call history:

  • Sign in to the GMB account.
  • If you have multiple locations, select the one you want.
  • Check the left menu for “Calls” and click on it. It will take you to the Preview Call History screen.
  • Click on “Learn More” and then “Turn on.”
2. Google Adds Wheelchair Accessibility Attributes to GMB

Business owners can add this attribute to their GMB listing if they have a wheelchair-accessible business.

Google My Business Wheelchair Accessibility

Google added to Google My Business the ability to add attributes to your business listing that specify if your business is wheelchair accessible. Currently, you can add the following attributes.

  • Wheelchair-accessible entrance
  • Wheelchair-accessible restroom
  • Wheelchair-accessible seating
  • Wheelchair-accessible elevator

Here’s the official tweet from Google My Business.

Feb, 2021

Google My Business – Messaging Function To Desktop Now Rolling Out

As with all Google My Business updates, this feature aims to make it easier for customers to get in touch with businesses. Your potential customers can get in touch with you by simply clicking the “Message” button on the GMB listing.

Google My Business Messaging Rolling Out

To enable this:

  • On your desktop, sign in to Google My Business.
  • Choose the location you’d like to update (if you have multiple locations).
  • From the left menu choose Messages > Turn on Messaging

Jan, 2021

1. New Performance Reporting In GMB Dashboard

This feature allows you to view performance reports in a whole different way, with new metrics and insights like call history and message data. You can see new data in a six-month timeframe.

Here’s How You Can Access Performance Reports:

  • Sign in to your GMB account.
  • If you have multiple locations, select the one you want.
  • From the left menu, select “Insights.”
  • Next, check “See new profile performance” to turn on the metrics you want.
  • Now, select the date range (up to six months) and click “Apply.”

Google My Business Performance Metrics


2. GMB Shows Older Posts

Google My Business profiles are now showing posts that are more than seven days old. Some users even reported seeing posts from way back. This change will certainly affect the number of views your GMB posts will get going forward. But most importantly, you won’t have to worry about your post disappear after seven days.

GMB Older Posts Showing


2020 Google My Business Updates

Nov, 2020

GMB Dashboard Tests New Location Manager Interface

Google is always trying to make the GMB dashboard as user-friendly as possible. But, in 2020, it did take it to the next level. It included icons for a pencil, photo, comment, and a New Verified icon, and a See Your Profile button.

Google My Business Location Manager Interface

Oct, 2020

GMB Tests ‘Call History’ Feature

The “Call History” feature is under testing by Google. Its main aim is to help businesses to see and respond to customers’ missed calls from Google Search and Maps. It is made available to only a select group of businesses in the US.

16 GMB Call History Testing


Sep, 2020

The new Health & safety attributes available in GMB

In light of the pandemic, Google My Business rolled out several new attributes in 2020. These attributes were designed to help local businesses ensure health and safety measures.

Health and Safety Attribute

How to add these attributes:

  • If you still haven’t added these attributes, it’s time you should.
  • Sign in to your GMB account.
  • Click on “Info” on your left menu.
  • Now, scroll on the right side “From the Business” and click the pencil icon to make a selection.
  • Scroll down and select the health and safety attributes your business is implementing.

Jul, 2020

Google My Business Adds Black-Owned Attribute

In addition to its veteran-led and women-led attributes, Google My Business also added a new attribute called “identifies as black-owned” in 2020. This attribute will help you attract more customers who want to support locally-owned businesses.

GMB Black-owned Attribute

Jun, 2020

GMB Adds New Attributes for Some Businesses

Google added four new attributes in GMB profile for businesses with some specific categories. Businesses can add these to grab searchers’ attention by highlighting important service offerings.

GMB Online Care Attribute

Here are the Attributes for online services:

  • Online Care.
  • Online Appointment.
  • Online Estimates.
  • Online Classes.

May, 2020

GMB Adds Pandemic-Related Attributes for Restaurants

Google My Business was one of the first platforms to roll out COVID-19 related attributes for the food and other industries. The following attributes were made available on the GMB profile during a pandemic.

  • Takeaway.
  • No-contact delivery.
  • Dine-in.

GMB Attributes for Restaurants

Apr, 2020

GMB COVID-19 Update Posts

This special pandemic-driven rollout allows businesses to post news and updates regarding COVID-19. These posts are displayed under the “COVID-19 updates from business” label.

GMB COVID-19 Update Post

Here’s how you can publish these updates:

  • Make sure to sign into your GMB account.
  • If you have multiple locations, select the one you want.
  • From the left menu choose Posts.
  • Click the COVID-19 Update tab.
  • Write your message.
  • You can Preview the post and then Publish it.

Mar, 2020

Temporarily Or Permanently Closed Attribute

During the pandemic, many businesses had to close down temporarily or even permanently. So, GMB added these two attributes. You can use the “Temporarily Closed” attribute if your business remains closed for more than seven days or remains closed for the off-season.

Mark as temporarily closed

How to do it:

  1. Make sure to sign in to your GMB account.
  2. If you have multiple locations, select the one you want.
  3. From the left menu, click on “Info.”
  4. From the right-side menu, scroll and select “Close this business on Google.”
  5. Click the arrow to expand this section.
  6. Choose a suitable attribute.

2019 Google My Business Updates

Nov, 2019

Adding A Custom List of Services to GMB Listings

This was one of the major GMB updates in 2019. Google My Business allowed service-based businesses to add a custom list of services they offered. The purpose of this change was to allow businesses to get more relevant needs.

GMB Custom Services

Jul, 2019

Google Adds ‘Get A Quote’ Button To GMB Local Knowledge Panels

In 2019, the Get A Quote button made it to the GMB knowledge panel. The button allows businesses to receive queries from their potential customers. However, this feature is only available if you have turned on the GMB messaging feature.

GMB Request a Quote

To enable the messaging feature:

  1. Sign in to your GMB account.
  2. If you have multiple locations, select the one you want.
  3. From the left menu choose the Messages tab, and click the Turn On Messaging button.

Jun, 2019

New Branding And Promotional Tools

Google My Business also added several new branding tools to help businesses attract more potential customers. This was one of the GMB updates aimed to make it more accessible and interactive. Remember, this was the time when Google was proactively trying to promote GMB among local businesses.

New Branding And Promotional Tools by Google

The new GMB features included:

  1. Adding a logo
  2. Setting a profile or cover photo
  3. Welcome offers
  4. Short names

Apr, 2019

Making GMB Dashboard More

Consider this one of the core GMB updates. Creating an interactive and attractive dashboard was one of the first steps in the direction of putting GMB on the map. The new dashboard came with larger cover images and photos and a bunch of other graphical updates.

Andy Simpson shared this screenshot on Twitter:

GMB New Dashboard

Feb, 2019

Ability to Reply to Reviews

With this GMB update, Google empowered business owners to reply to customer reviews directly from Google Maps. It was a pretty big deal as it made GMB more interactive than ever.

Reply to Reviews

Jan, 2019

Social Media Icons Came Back To GMB Knowledge Panels

The year 2019 began with good news for local business owners using GMB. Google brought back social media icons to the knowledge panels.

GMB Social Media Icons

2018 Google My Business Updates

Nov, 2018

1. GMB Listing With a Future Opening Date Update

This last GMB update in 2018 marked how much Google was invested in making GMB listings user-friendly. Google allowed business owners to create a listing 90 days before they went public. This update went on to help businesses generate customer interest and hit the ground running once they went public.

GMB Opening Date

Steps to set an opening date:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. Choose the location you would like to manage.
  3. From the left side menu, click Info.
  4. Find the “Opening date” and click the pencil icon.
  5. Enter your opening date.
  6. Click Apply
2. Service Area Business (Sab) Update

In November 2018, Google My Business changed service areas business (SAB) into two different fields, service areas, and business addresses. With this GMB update, business owners could change their addresses and services areas or both whenever they wanted.

GMB Service Areas

Oct, 2018

Follow Button Roll Out

Google rolled out a GMB update in October 2018 which included adding a Follow button to GMB listings in Maps and Android. This feature allowed users to see all the posts from businesses they are following in one place, with notifications when the said businesses publish new posts.

Google Maps Follow Button

Aug, 2018

Veteran-Led Attribute Added

This was the second business identity attribute that GMB added. The veteran-led attribute allowed users to find and support local businesses owned and operated by veterans. It started appearing alongside other GMB details like has Wi-Fi or Outdoor Seating.

GMB Veteran-led Attribute

Apr, 2018

Specify a List of Services

Although the Service field had been a part of GMB listing for a while, it fell short of describing what many businesses offered. That’s what probably prompted Google to add a Service field where people could add custom descriptions of what they offered.

GMB Services

Mar, 2018

1. Business Description Field Update

The Description From the Business feature GMB update didn’t replace the Google editorial summary. However, it did provide businesses with the opportunity to write more details about their enterprise.

GMB Business Description

2. Women-Led Attribute Added to GMB

This seemingly simple GMB update empowered women-led businesses to attract more customers. When turned on, this attribute appeared in the business attributes section of the GMB listing.

Google My Business Women Led


Jan, 2018

GMB Posts Started Appearing in Google Website

The year 2018 brought good news for those who had a Google Website built through their Google My Business listing. With this update, Google Posts started appearing live on their website for such GMB users. As this was an automated process, business owners didn’t need to do anything. The posts were automatically exported to the Google Website.



2017 Google My Business Update

Oct, 2017

Booking button for businesses on Google

After the introduction of Reserve with Google, now it has added a booking button to the listing for business owners to sign up with one of our scheduling partners directly from their Google My Business account.

Booking button on Google

Aug, 2017

Answer Customer Questions Update

When it comes to local businesses, people often have a ton of questions. This GMB update made it easier to answer all such questions right from your listing. The feature allows you to:

  • List FAQs with answers related to your business.
  • Answer questions from your potential customers.
  • And highlight the best responses.

Question answer on GMB


Jul, 2017

1. Messaging Feature Rolling Out

Google is rolling out a messaging feature to Google My Business. The messaging feature allowed business owners to respond to the messages left by their customers. On the Google My Business home page, you will see this “Messaging” section on the left.

Messaging feature on Google My Business


2. Reserve With Google

Another important Google My Business update is Google added a Book button to the local pack. Previously, online appointments were available only through Knowledge Panel results. Moreover, Google also added the Reserve option to many other business areas, making it easier to book appointments. You can also visit the Reserve with Google to browse more recommendations for your business.

Reserve with Google


Jun, 2017

Google My Business Posts Introduced

The introduction of posts was perhaps one of the most significant GMB updates until then. It provided an interactive platform for businesses and potential customers. The purpose of adding this feature was to help businesses nurture their leads. Fast forward four years, and this continues to be an invaluable GMB feature.

Google My Business Posts Introduced


2016 Google My Business Updates

Nov, 2016

Now Add Holiday Hours in Google My Business

Google My Business already had the provision to change your phone number, address, and hours of operation. The holiday hours update simplified things further. It helped last-minute shoppers to know when their favorite stores open and for how long.

Add Holiday Hours to GMB

Aug, 2016

Google My Business Insights Update

The insights section received an exciting makeover during this series of GMB updates. For instance, business owners could check the number of views and a breakdown of how many came from Search and Maps.

Google My Business Insights

2015 Google My Business Updates

Feb, 2015

Photo Tool Added to GMB

It was the time when Google decided to make GMB more visual than ever. The new photo tools allowed GMB users to add photos of their business to help attract new customers. The feature also helped local businesses pick the best pics based on their services areas. For example, restaurants were encouraged to add photos of customers enjoying their best dishes.

Photo Tool Introduced to GMB

2014 Google My Business Updates

Aug, 2014

Get Business Feedback with Reviews

In the early years of GMB updates, Reviews would be considered a milestone. It enabled businesses to get direct feedback from their customers on the GMB listing.

Google Reviews

Jun, 2014

Google My Business Gets Launched

In June 2014, Google launched Google My Business, the revolutionary tool. It aimed to help local businesses expand their presence on Google and connect with their customer base online. It was, and still is, a free service. All you had to do was sign up with Google or if you already had an existing Google account, use the credentials to sign in to your GMB profile. Nearly seven years later, Google My Business continues to help millions of local businesses across the globe.

Google My Business Introduced

In Conclusion

There it is! A short version of how Google My Business came to be the buzz it is today. If you are a local business owner, GMB listing is a must-have. Right now, this free tool from Google packs a punch of varied features. But I am sure, it’ll keep getting better in the coming years. Whatever changes it may go through, our local SEO experts will never let you down.

Thanks for reading. If you need help with local SEO or GMB listings, or simply want to share your feedback or any suggestions, leave me a message in the comments below.

  • Kinjal Boghara is a local SEO specialist with 9+ years of experience. Over the years she has helped many local businesses to improve their searchability and attract more customers from Google Search. She is highly passionate about experimenting and exploring new ways to rank businesses locally. Feel free to connect and shoot her any queries on her Linkedin.