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Google Search and Maps update adds new identifier for Asian-owned businesses

Google is rolling out a new “Asian-owned” identifier badge for American businesses that will appear on Search and Maps. The purpose of this new badge is to make Asian-owned businesses easier to find in a user’s local area.

Appearing as a red flower, business owners can adopt the optional new badge by first going to their respective Google Business account. Under the My Business section, owners will go to View Profile and then click Business Information. Scrolling down to the More section and clicking on “From the business”, they will be able to activate the “Identifies as Asian-owned” attribute. After hitting save, the red flower icon will pop up in the location’s Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.

We reached out to Google and asked if there are plans to expand the identifier internationally. Officially, there are plans to expand the Asian-owned badge to “ad-supported publishers” on Google’s Display & Video 360 marketing platform within the coming weeks, but nothing for other countries.

We’ll update this story if we hear back from Google.

Supporting local business

Since July 2020, Google has been steadily rolling out identifiers for small businesses run by historically marginalized groups in the United States. Black-owned businesses were the first to be highlighted. Then it was Latino-owned, veteran, women, and, most recently, LGBTQ+ businesses.

Leanne Luce, Google’s Product Manager for Search, said in the announcement that the purpose of the badge is to support local communities who have been hurt by recent events like the pandemic and have them thrive. COVID-19, tragically, did a number on small businesses resulting in many closures across the country. Luce also brings up the “targeted acts of violence” on the Asian-American community as another driving force behind this new support. 

To further foster growing businesses, Google also announced it’s expanding its partnership with the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) to help “10,000 Asian-owned small businesses” learn digital skills via the Grow with Google initiative.  

Maps updates

Google has been churning out a lot of interesting features to Maps apps aimed at both businesses and the everyday person alike. In fact, several were announced back during the Google I/O 2022 conference.

Maps had some of its features revamped as such a new and improved bike navigation. Now cyclists will be able to see how the traffic is like on the road as well as how steep or windy the streets are. We are still missing Immersive View however, which would allow people to look inside restaurants before visiting. 

For businesses, Google implemented a new AI to seek any errors with listings on Maps, namely opening hours. The machine learning model seeks out business profiles that haven’t been updated in a while and tells the owner to update their info. 

But these tools are only the tip of the iceberg since Maps had a lot of hidden tools. We recommend checking out our list of the five things you didn’t know Google Maps could do

Source: TechRadar

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