As more restaurants, bars and businesses close in an attempt to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, Google Search and Maps will inform users.
In a blog post on the company’s site, CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the various steps the company is taking to help fight the spread of the pandemic, including “promoting the ‘Do the Five’ campaign to raise awareness of simple measures people can take to slow the spread of the disease, according to the WHO.”
Google is also working hard to fight misinformation regarding the pandemic. A big part of that has been removing videos that are dangerous or misleading from YouTube, as well as taking down false information, fake reviews and misleading information on Google Maps.
The company is also working to help businesses inform customers via Search and Maps when they are temporarily closed as a result of the virus.
“Based on data from governments and other authoritative sources, Google Search and Maps will now display if a place, like a school or local business, is temporarily closed,” continues Pichai. “In the coming days, we’ll make it possible for businesses to easily mark themselves as ‘temporarily closed’ using Google My Business. We’re also using our artificial intelligence (AI) technology Duplex where possible to contact businesses to confirm their updated business hours, so we can reflect them accurately when people are looking on Search and Maps.”
These are welcome steps the search giant is taking to help individuals and businesses alike in the face of the pandemic.