In November 2022, Google began transforming how Google Business Profiles are managed via Search as well as how performance metrics are calculated. We'll cover both as they have implications for how you make changes to your profile and provide reporting.
The most significant visible change to Google Business Profile (GBP) management is the shift from a dedicated dashboard to managing your profile via the search engine results page (SERP). This new way of interacting has often been referred to as the New Merchant Experience or NMX. We aren't big fans of the name and couldn't find where this term came from since it doesn't appear in the official Google Business Profile documentation. So we took to Twitter to find out and we now have confirmation from Google that NMX is not the name of this update.
Performance metrics have changed
With all the attention going towards NMX, another fundamental change to Google Business Profile took place without much fanfare. The metrics that previously measured brand visibility; Views on Search and Views on Maps have changed, and other helpful metrics like Discovery Searches, Brand Searches and Direct Searches have been removed entirely.
Although several metrics have been removed during the update, arguably the most important metrics used for measuring performance, which is how often your Business Profile is shown on the SERP or within Google Maps have been improved.
Before this update this metric was called views and was defined as:
Views (Old) - The number of times the resource was viewed on Google Search/Maps.
This metric has now been removed and replaced with Impressions, which is defined as:
Impressions (New) - Impressions on Google Search. Multiple impressions by a unique user within a single day are counted as a single impression.
Google has explicitly stated that they are only counting unique users, which explains why the Impression data does not match the old View metrics.
The choice to use the impressions metric makes sense as this now matches how Search Console and Google Ads report on what gets shown in the SERP, bringing consistency across the platforms.
The granularity of the impression data is also a welcome new addition to GBP's performance metrics, as you can now determine whether the Business Profile was shown on a Desktop or Mobile device.
By analyzing the device, you can better understand your overall performance and make assumptions about the location and intent of the searcher.
When the new impression metrics were released, they became the default metrics used by Google for performance reporting in the GMB dashboard. This means that if you look at any report that uses the View metrics, it will be different from what you see in the Google Business Profile native reporting.
To encourage people to use the new Impression metrics (and others), Google started introducing errors into their API whenever we fetched your performance data. These errors have been gradually increasing and you may see some of your reports not updating to recent dates as a result.
We highly encourage you to move over to the new Impression metrics in your reporting ASAP.
If you are using our Data Warehouse, all of your Views on Search and Views on Maps data will be maintained for historical purposes. Please see our documentation on how we treat changes to metrics in the data source.
The introduction of keyword data to Google Business Profile has been a request of many SEOs and something that was previously only possible by scraping the SERPs. Keywords and their search volume are available historically, so you can take a look back at previous months for longer-term trends.
If you add this data to your Looker Studio report, it's important to note that it's only available at the monthly level. So you will want to change the date value to 'Year Month' and ensure your chart date range covers the first day of the month.
There is so much that can be done with this keyword data and something we plan to cover in the future. If you are taking advantage of this data in a unique way or have no idea how to utilize it for better report storytelling, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.
Due to the change in performance metrics, it's necessary to update your Looker Studio reports to take advantage of them. The good news is that all pipelines (the part in our App where you configure what data to save to your Data Warehouse) has been automatically updated to fetch the new metrics, however to add the new fields, please follow the steps below:
1. Open the Resource menu of your Looker Studio report and select 'Manage added data sources.
2. Find the data source from Jepto. This can be our Reporting connector or the BigQuery connector.
3. Click on the 'Refresh Fields' button at the bottom, and you will be presented with a modal confirming the new fields that are available.
If you need any help migrating your reports over or want some advice on taking advantage of the new metrics, please get in touch with our support team via the chat widget in the bottom right corner of the App.
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