According to Danny Sullivan of Google, he confirmed that marking a Google My Business listing as temporarily closed isn’t going to harm rankings or visibility.

With businesses closing in order to try halting the spread of the virus, Google introduced a “temporarily closed” indicator in GMB.

There was some initial concern about the indicator negatively impacting search rankings, but it looks like things will be fin.

Sullivan was reached out to by a concerned business owner who suggested that Google should introduce a solution that won’t lead to reduced visibility in search.

That’s important as some businesses are still operating online even though their physical location in closed.

Here is Sullivan’s response:

Google’s guidance previously explicitly stated that closed businesses will appear on Google with reduced visibility.

Here is an image from Tharindu G that shows a warning that appears before marking a business as temporarily closed:

Google officially updated its guidance on March 30 regarding temporary closures of businesses affected by COVID-19.

A temporarily closed business will now be treated the same as an open business:

“If your business is affected by COVID-19, update your Google My Business profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers…

Marking your business temporarily closed will not affect search ranking and it will be treated similar to open businesses.”

This is a new change that’s just rolling out, and according to Sullivan, Google plans to have better messaging about it soon.

So the end result is, it’s okay to mark your business as temporarily closed with out any consequences.

After doing so, Google will display the following message on the business’s profile in search results.

Here’s how to mark a business as temporarily closed:

  • Sign in to Google My Business on desktop.
  • In the menu on the left, click Info.
  • To the right, point to the section “Close this business on Google.”
  • Expand this section and click click “Mark as temporarily closed.”

SourceMatt Southern