Google Pilots Local Business Markup for Knowledge Panels

Chris CrumSearchNews

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Last week, Google launched the Google My Business API to let big businesses and third parties integrate with the Google My Business platform and publish updates to customers on Google Search and Google Maps.

Businesses can use the API to set special holiday hours, for example, and update them across all locations. The special hours feature was added to Google My business last month.

Developers can also use the API to create locations with names, addresses, phone numbers, categories, business hours, etc. They can also mark a business location as permanently closed, manage business photos, list/invite/remove managers on locations and business accounts, read listing state to identify Google update, duplicate and suspended locations, search/filter locations by name/category/label, and set the service area for a business by specifying a point and radius or Place ID.

To work with the API, you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of RESTful APIs.

Documentation for the API is here.

Search Engine Land points to a Google help document in which it talks about a way to provide local business information via structured data markup. When utilized, uses who search for a business may see a Knowledge Panel card with details about the business.

Google says, "We are currently piloting this feature with a restricted set of initial data providers. We hope to soon open up the feature so any provider who implements spec-compliant markup is eligible to participate."

"Use markup on your official website to provide Google with information about local business locations," it says. "These attributes appear on the card and elsewhere throughout Google Search and Maps. For instance, a restaurant's menu URL appears prominently on the card, letting users click through to see what kind of food and drink is available."

More about adding the markup here.

Images via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.