If you have a Google business listing for your local business and haven’t checked or managed your listing via the Google Maps app, you could be in for a quite a shock about what your customers / the public are posting on your business listing.
Google rolled out Google Questions and Answers (Q&A) in August 2017. Initially it rolled out to Android users and now is available in IOS, but it’s still only visible in mobile, not in desktop. The theory behind Questions and Answers is to allow business owners to answer questions directly from potential customers in their Google business listing. Merchants can also anticipate FAQs by adding commonly asked questions and their answers.
Switch to your listing or Google Maps via your mobile device – you’ll notice the difference.
The above is a particularly brutal example as this business is featured online in an unflattering way. However more and more small local businesses not in the spotlight are finding unflattering Q&A or just plain trolls.
I’m also noticing a spike in Q&As because Google is actively pushing mobile users to Ask and Answer questions about businesses through a push notification via Maps App when it detects they’ve been in or near a business.
Managing your Google Q&A
Business owners will need to have the Google Maps app enabled (sign in with your connected account). Owners and managers will get push notifications from Google Maps on Android if a question is asked or answered by a user.
I also recommend that business owners pre-populate their Q&A with typical questions that you are asked on a regular basis by customers.
Removing Google Q&A
Currently the only way to remove a Question or Answer is to report it. Use the 3 dot navigation next to the Q or A and select report. If you’ve ever reported a review or image with Google flag and fix options, you’re probably shaking your head as you read this.
Official documentation and guidelines can be found here.