Google Maps is adding a “Follow” button to business listings that, when clicked, will send updates from the business to the user’s “For You” tab.  New businesses can even have their business listed via a Google My Business profile up to three months prior to their open date.

Search marketers should care about this because Google Maps is a key channel for local search marketers using Google My Business, and with the addition of a “Follow” button, companies have a new way to engage consumers.

After a user clicks on the new “Follow” button within a business listing, Google Posts updates from that business will be delivered to the user’s “For You” tab — an area within Google Maps where Google curates recommendations for users based on preferences they’ve shared.

New businesses will have the ability to have a business profile up in Google Maps three months prior to their open data, which offers your company the opportunity to give searchers a heads up on new location openings.

“And for those of you who want to be in the know about all the new places opening around town, you’ll start seeing profiles for places before they even open on Google Maps for Android and mobile search—just look for the opening date in orange,” wrote Google Maps product manager Paul Cole.

Google said this feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

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