Google recently announced that both Google Search and Maps will begin displaying if a business is temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus crisis. This was following a directive to local businesses to update hours and other relevant content in Google My Business.

Any query that’s related to “opening hours” have been trending up as everyone is tyring to figure out what local businesses are open and what their hours might be.

Instructions first appeared on March 25 on how to “mark a business temporarily closed.” The capability is under “Close this business on Google.”

The following image shows the options that business owners will see:

A number of local SEOs complained last week about various problems and delays in posting new listings or hours and address updates. Google is also operating with reduced support staff, and due to that, things seem to be taking longer than they normally would. The company has even suspended “new reviews, review replies, and all Q&A” until further notice.

A new category of Google Posts for COVID-19 related communication was created earlier this week. Right now, it’s not clear if Google will let them persist on profiles or whether they will need to be reposted or updated weekly.

Greg SterlingGreg Sterling