Google Introduces 'Identity Attribute' To Highlight Black-Owned Businesses In Search Listings And Google Maps

Many people rely on the Google Maps application to get the latest information about local businesses, and in these uncertain economic situations caused due to the coronavirus pandemic, supporting local businesses has become a priority for several consumers. Furthermore, Google CEO announced last month that the company would develop initiatives and products to support long-term solutions for Black people.

Now, the company is helping Black business owners to identify themselves in Maps as well as Google Search. The tech giant is launching a new identity attribute today to help Black-owned businesses in communities across the US. The recent announcement comes as the company has noted a surge in searches for Black-owned stores.

From now on, merchants will be able to add the Black-owned business attribute from the My Business portal. The feature is currently available in the United States for those merchants who a verified Business Profile. According to Google, the company is also integrating this identity attribute into the Grow with Google digital skills training program. The company announced to pledge $300 million to support underrepresented merchants.

When a merchant has added this attribute to their profile, Maps, as well as Google Search users, will see an icon and a label identifying that this business is being owned by a Black individual. The attribute appears under ‘Highlights’ in the Maps application as well as Google Search, and it features a three-striped orange icon, and a black heart is placed at the center of this icon.

The company has partnered with the United States Black Chambers to encourage the adoption of the Black-owned identity attribute. Google will offer training for Black entrepreneurs to enhance their Google presence with tools such as Analytics and My Business.

The recent move comes at a time when the United States race relations are under intense scrutiny following the police killing of a Black individual- George Floyd. It might be a small change to some, but the company states that this addition will help make Google’s products and services more inclusive. Google also states that the new change will help customers to identify as well as support Black-owned small businesses in these difficult times.

If you want to add or edit attributes, go to the My Business application, and tap Profile. Now, click the ‘View all’ option and look for the ‘Add Attributes’ options and tap ‘Edit.’ After you are finished, tap the ‘Apple’ option, and your new attributes will be visible to consumers who find your business on the Maps app and Search.

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