Google may have made a change recently that is causing some local businesses to show up less often, even when searching for the company name. In the past, Google has typically shown a knowledge panel on the right side of the search results for a business name. However, recently, some local businesses are noticing that the knowledge panel, that shows the Google My Business listing data, doesn’t show up for certain queries.
Previously, the knowledge panel, containing Google My Business information, would display for many local businesses for a search for their business name. However, now, in order to force that knowledge panel to show up on the right side of the search results, the company name and the city name needs to be present in the search query.
Example Search Query
Let’s look at an example. Recently, I changed my Google My Business name from “Bill Hartzer” to “Hartzer Consulting”, reflecting the change and update to my business name. For a while, when you searched for “Hartzer Consulting” on Google, the search result would look like this:
Notice the sidebar, what I call the knowledge panel, on the right side of the search results on a desktop search at Google.
But, here’s what the same search query shows now:
Now, a search for “Hartzer Consulting” does NOT show the knowledge panel from Google My Business on the right side. You must search for “Hartzer Consulting Mabank” in order to bring up the knowledge panel. Mabank is the city in which I live. It’s a city of less than 1,000 people.
So, What’s the Issue?
The problem I have with this is that for Google My Business listings, there are Google posts, photos, reviews, and other content available. Now, only people who search for the company name, Hartzer Consulting, along with the city name, is going to see the Google My Business information. They will see it if they click on the Maps option in the search results, but that’s not going to be very helpful for the business.
My speculation is that there is a reason why this change has happened–that the local business’ Google My Business information is NOT showing up for their company name. It could be that there aren’t enough searches per month to warrant showing the information, but if someone is truly searching for the company name, it should be there. Wouldn’t it make sense (especially if it’s a very unique company name) for the Google My Business information to show up in the knowledge panel on the right side of the search results?
Google My Business Posts Don’t Help
I went to Google My Business just now and made a post on Google My Business (a blog post using the tool) and verified that the post is live. However, that did not make the local knowledge panel show up for my business name. So, that’s no help.
I recently spoke with Clint from Digitaleer, and he has also reporting the same behavior, as well. I can confirm that Google is no longer showing a knowledge panel on the right side for a search for his company name, Digitaleer. However, if you search for Digitaleer Olympia (he’s in Olympia, Washington), the GMB knowledge panel shows up for me (I’m in Texas).
Here’s a search for “Digitaleer”, notice that there is know GMB listing knowledge panel:
Here is the same search query, but with the city name:
What Should You do?
Take a look at the search results for your brand name, your company name. Look to see if your Google My Business listing is showing up on the right side of the search results for a simple query for your name. Then, look at the search results for your brand name or company name with the city name. Is it only showing up for a search query like companyname+city ?
What’s interesting is that this search query, which contains the word Texas, does bring up the knowledge panel from GMB.