Tag Archives: Maps

Essential Google Maps tricks for your next road trip

Scroll through Denise Barlock’s public Google Maps profile and you’ll notice one thing: Denise is always on the road and she leaves a trail of reviews and photos in her wake. As of today, Denise has posted more than 1,000 reviews across 35 states and two countries. Along the way, she has shared over 12,000 photos from places like restaurants, grocery stores, and campsites, which have been viewed roughly 95 million times

Four years ago, Denise retired early and bought an Entegra Class A motorhome that she named “Maggie.” She now calls the entire United States her home. Since transforming her retirement into a country-trotting journey, Denise has traveled 54,000 miles across the U.S. and has driven as far north as Alaska. A Google Maps superuser and Level 10 Local Guide, she has collected helpful tips for others: go off-roading in the Southwest during the winter; visit Colorado to see the aspens change color in the fall; stay overnight at an alpaca farm in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and search for the decorative flamingo you’re bound to find somewhere on the premises of almost every RV park.

Traveling more than 12,000 miles a year and changing her location about once a month, Denise has come to know Google Maps inside and out. And with many Americans taking to the road this summer, she graciously offered to share essential tips on how to maximize Google Maps to make your next road trip more enjoyable, memorable, budget-friendly and stress-free. 

Whether you’re hauling your family on a cross-country RV trip or going for a scenic day trip, Denise’s six Google Maps road trip tips are not to miss.

Search for food

1. Eat like a local: Find restaurants and businesses en route

Part of experiencing a new place is trying the local cuisine. Use Google Maps to search for restaurants within the $ and $$ range, and you’ll usually find the more frequently visited local restaurants. Scan the reviews to find out what’s frequently talked about, like the can’t-miss chicken fried steak in Carthage, Texas, or an amazing hatch chili burger in New Mexico. Google Maps will even tell you what dishes are most popular based on the reviews and photos other diners have left behind.
Explore tab
2. Explore more: Maximize the Google Maps search bar and Explore tab

Find interesting places and things to do with Google Maps. Use the search bar in Google Maps to look for specific things like “scenic spots,” “waterfall,” or “trailhead.” Try using more detailed searches to get better results when looking for a business or service. For example, search for “oceanfront RV campground,” “early bird specials,” or “kayak rental daily rate.”


Takeout and delivery
3. Plan ahead: Look for restaurants doing takeout, dine-in or delivery

COVID-19 has forced many restaurants to change their operating models or even temporarily close, which makes planning ahead even more important. With Google Maps you can look for local restaurants around you that are open, offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery or no-contact delivery.


Search Gas Stations
4. Save on the go: Cut back on gas and toll money 

Expenses can add up quickly when you’re on the road. If you need to make a pit stop, you can use Google Maps to search for nearby gas stations and their prices to get the best deal. This is especially helpful in places like the Colorado mountains where gas stations are limited and you need to make sure you have a full tank at the best price before driving over mountain passes. 

You can also avoid toll roads and highways when in navigation mode. Given the price of tolls for big rigs in the Northeast and across the country, Denise tries to avoid the toll roads as much as possible. As you’re viewing your directions, simply tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the Google Maps to see your route options and select the route types you want to avoid.


Save a Place
5. Keep track: Save the places you’ve been and the places you want to go

Use the nifty Saved tab to create custom lists of favorite places you’ve been and places you want to visit and even share your lists with others. 

Open the Google Maps app and find that must-try BBQ spot that you’ve planned a day trip around. Tap on the place name and then the “Save” icon to add the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add places to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” Use the Saved tab to find lists you’ve created and followed. 

Denise has a custom list of places she considers to be “best-of” in the Surfside Beach area of Myrtle Beach, SC. She will oftentimes create private lists that consist of local vets, drug stores, and grocery stores to be able to find these needed services quickly and easily.


Leave a review
6. Pay it forward: Leave reviews and share photos

Other travelers took the time to leave the Google Maps reviews and photos that helped you make a decision on your road trip. Pay it forward to the next road warrior and leave your own reviews and photos of the places that made your visit memorable. Doing so also gives small businesses exposure to other travelers, and makes them more likely to be around the next time you roll through town.


Essential Google Maps tricks for your next road trip

Scroll through Denise Barlock’s public Google Maps profile and you’ll notice one thing: Denise is always on the road and she leaves a trail of reviews and photos in her wake. As of today, Denise has posted more than 1,000 reviews across 35 states and two countries. Along the way, she has shared over 12,000 photos from places like restaurants, grocery stores, and campsites, which have been viewed roughly 95 million times

Four years ago, Denise retired early and bought an Entegra Class A motorhome that she named “Maggie.” She now calls the entire United States her home. Since transforming her retirement into a country-trotting journey, Denise has traveled 54,000 miles across the U.S. and has driven as far north as Alaska. A Google Maps superuser and Level 10 Local Guide, she has collected helpful tips for others: go off-roading in the Southwest during the winter; visit Colorado to see the aspens change color in the fall; stay overnight at an alpaca farm in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and search for the decorative flamingo you’re bound to find somewhere on the premises of almost every RV park.

Traveling more than 12,000 miles a year and changing her location about once a month, Denise has come to know Google Maps inside and out. And with many Americans taking to the road this summer, she graciously offered to share essential tips on how to maximize Google Maps to make your next road trip more enjoyable, memorable, budget-friendly and stress-free. 

Whether you’re hauling your family on a cross-country RV trip or going for a scenic day trip, Denise’s six Google Maps road trip tips are not to miss.

Search for food

1. Eat like a local: Find restaurants and businesses en route

Part of experiencing a new place is trying the local cuisine. Use Google Maps to search for restaurants within the $ and $$ range, and you’ll usually find the more frequently visited local restaurants. Scan the reviews to find out what’s frequently talked about, like the can’t-miss chicken fried steak in Carthage, Texas, or an amazing hatch chili burger in New Mexico. Google Maps will even tell you what dishes are most popular based on the reviews and photos other diners have left behind.
Explore tab
2. Explore more: Maximize the Google Maps search bar and Explore tab

Find interesting places and things to do with Google Maps. Use the search bar in Google Maps to look for specific things like “scenic spots,” “waterfall,” or “trailhead.” Try using more detailed searches to get better results when looking for a business or service. For example, search for “oceanfront RV campground,” “early bird specials,” or “kayak rental daily rate.”


Takeout and delivery
3. Plan ahead: Look for restaurants doing takeout, dine-in or delivery

COVID-19 has forced many restaurants to change their operating models or even temporarily close, which makes planning ahead even more important. With Google Maps you can look for local restaurants around you that are open, offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery or no-contact delivery.


Search Gas Stations
4. Save on the go: Cut back on gas and toll money 

Expenses can add up quickly when you’re on the road. If you need to make a pit stop, you can use Google Maps to search for nearby gas stations and their prices to get the best deal. This is especially helpful in places like the Colorado mountains where gas stations are limited and you need to make sure you have a full tank at the best price before driving over mountain passes. 

You can also avoid toll roads and highways when in navigation mode. Given the price of tolls for big rigs in the Northeast and across the country, Denise tries to avoid the toll roads as much as possible. As you’re viewing your directions, simply tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the Google Maps to see your route options and select the route types you want to avoid.


Save a Place
5. Keep track: Save the places you’ve been and the places you want to go

Use the nifty Saved tab to create custom lists of favorite places you’ve been and places you want to visit and even share your lists with others. 

Open the Google Maps app and find that must-try BBQ spot that you’ve planned a day trip around. Tap on the place name and then the “Save” icon to add the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add places to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” Use the Saved tab to find lists you’ve created and followed. 

Denise has a custom list of places she considers to be “best-of” in the Surfside Beach area of Myrtle Beach, SC. She will oftentimes create private lists that consist of local vets, drug stores, and grocery stores to be able to find these needed services quickly and easily.


Leave a review
6. Pay it forward: Leave reviews and share photos

Other travelers took the time to leave the Google Maps reviews and photos that helped you make a decision on your road trip. Pay it forward to the next road warrior and leave your own reviews and photos of the places that made your visit memorable. Doing so also gives small businesses exposure to other travelers, and makes them more likely to be around the next time you roll through town.


Essential Google Maps tricks for your next road trip

Scroll through Denise Barlock’s public Google Maps profile and you’ll notice one thing: Denise is always on the road and she leaves a trail of reviews and photos in her wake. As of today, Denise has posted more than 1,000 reviews across 35 states and two countries. Along the way, she has shared over 12,000 photos from places like restaurants, grocery stores, and campsites, which have been viewed roughly 95 million times

Four years ago, Denise retired early and bought an Entegra Class A motorhome that she named “Maggie.” She now calls the entire United States her home. Since transforming her retirement into a country-trotting journey, Denise has traveled 54,000 miles across the U.S. and has driven as far north as Alaska. A Google Maps superuser and Level 10 Local Guide, she has collected helpful tips for others: go off-roading in the Southwest during the winter; visit Colorado to see the aspens change color in the fall; stay overnight at an alpaca farm in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and search for the decorative flamingo you’re bound to find somewhere on the premises of almost every RV park.

Traveling more than 12,000 miles a year and changing her location about once a month, Denise has come to know Google Maps inside and out. And with many Americans taking to the road this summer, she graciously offered to share essential tips on how to maximize Google Maps to make your next road trip more enjoyable, memorable, budget-friendly and stress-free. 

Whether you’re hauling your family on a cross-country RV trip or going for a scenic day trip, Denise’s six Google Maps road trip tips are not to miss.

Search for food

1. Eat like a local: Find restaurants and businesses en route

Part of experiencing a new place is trying the local cuisine. Use Google Maps to search for restaurants within the $ and $$ range, and you’ll usually find the more frequently visited local restaurants. Scan the reviews to find out what’s frequently talked about, like the can’t-miss chicken fried steak in Carthage, Texas, or an amazing hatch chili burger in New Mexico. Google Maps will even tell you what dishes are most popular based on the reviews and photos other diners have left behind.
Explore tab
2. Explore more: Maximize the Google Maps search bar and Explore tab

Find interesting places and things to do with Google Maps. Use the search bar in Google Maps to look for specific things like “scenic spots,” “waterfall,” or “trailhead.” Try using more detailed searches to get better results when looking for a business or service. For example, search for “oceanfront RV campground,” “early bird specials,” or “kayak rental daily rate.”


Takeout and delivery
3. Plan ahead: Look for restaurants doing takeout, dine-in or delivery

COVID-19 has forced many restaurants to change their operating models or even temporarily close, which makes planning ahead even more important. With Google Maps you can look for local restaurants around you that are open, offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery or no-contact delivery.


Search Gas Stations
4. Save on the go: Cut back on gas and toll money 

Expenses can add up quickly when you’re on the road. If you need to make a pit stop, you can use Google Maps to search for nearby gas stations and their prices to get the best deal. This is especially helpful in places like the Colorado mountains where gas stations are limited and you need to make sure you have a full tank at the best price before driving over mountain passes. 

You can also avoid toll roads and highways when in navigation mode. Given the price of tolls for big rigs in the Northeast and across the country, Denise tries to avoid the toll roads as much as possible. As you’re viewing your directions, simply tap on the three dots at the top right corner of the Google Maps to see your route options and select the route types you want to avoid.


Save a Place
5. Keep track: Save the places you’ve been and the places you want to go

Use the nifty Saved tab to create custom lists of favorite places you’ve been and places you want to visit and even share your lists with others. 

Open the Google Maps app and find that must-try BBQ spot that you’ve planned a day trip around. Tap on the place name and then the “Save” icon to add the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add places to a new list that you name yourself, like “Finger Lickin’ BBQ.” Use the Saved tab to find lists you’ve created and followed. 

Denise has a custom list of places she considers to be “best-of” in the Surfside Beach area of Myrtle Beach, SC. She will oftentimes create private lists that consist of local vets, drug stores, and grocery stores to be able to find these needed services quickly and easily.


Leave a review
6. Pay it forward: Leave reviews and share photos

Other travelers took the time to leave the Google Maps reviews and photos that helped you make a decision on your road trip. Pay it forward to the next road warrior and leave your own reviews and photos of the places that made your visit memorable. Doing so also gives small businesses exposure to other travelers, and makes them more likely to be around the next time you roll through town.


Now sending: Business Messages via Google Maps and Search

People develop loyalty to the brands that make it easy to purchase products and services and connect with their customer support. Google has built digital tools to help brands do this, including the ability to message customers through Google Maps and Search, via Google My Business. Messaging has become such a valuable way to connect with customers that twice as many businesses are messaging via Google now, compared to last year.

Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS. To improve connections with customers, we’ve recently introduced new smart replies, visual product carousels, and unique welcome messages. There’s also a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent, so that it's not disruptive when the customer messages a business.

Several organizations, including Woolworths, Walmart and MyGov were among the first to try the updated Business Messages experience to make customer care more effective and efficient, particularly during COVID-19. Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, allows customers to search for products and see availability and aisle information at their local store, plus get details about hours and COVID-19 related updates to make shopping easier. In just a few messages, Walmart lets customers quickly find up-to-date information about store hours, pick-up and delivery options, precautions and more. And MyGov, with partner Amplify.ai, is providing help and answering live questions from Indian citizens about hours, COVID-19 helplines, and ways to volunteer and donate, for more than 11,000 food and night shelters across India.

A number of brands are using Business Messages to sell products and answer customer questions along the way. Mattress Firm, with messaging partner Podium, is successfully selling mattresses directly through Business Messages by sharing videos and product information, even while stores were closed due to COVID-19. DISH, with partner [24]7.ai, has seen a reduction of more than 22 percent in average handle time using Business Messages features compared to other messaging channels.

As brands connect with their customers via Business Messages, we’re experimenting with more ways for them to highlight this communications tool on Search. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the same smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.

Business Messages is currently available in English, with expanded coverage to other languages launching soon. Brands and messaging partners can sign up to access the Business Messages API and developer documentation. We also have partners ready to help brands optimize their messaging flow with engaged customers. Businesses can also still manage messaging through Google My Business

6 ways you can support local businesses with Google Maps

Editor’s Note: Small businesses are crucial to our communities. As we head into International Small Business Day on June 27, we’ve compiled six Google Maps tips anyone can use to help small businesses during the pandemic. 

As cities and economies start to reopen, people are looking for ways to support their favorite small businesses. We recently announced new features to help business owners get support, adjust operations and reach customers in new ways, and have heard from people around the world that they want to support their favorite small businesses. 

Here are six easy ways you can show support for small businesses in your community right now:


1. Report a place as re-opened and edit other helpful information 

Business owners may not have the time or resources to keep the information on their online listing updated. If you know a business has reopened to the public, but it’s still marked as closed on Google Search or Maps, you can report it as re-opened. Click on the “Temporarily Closed” banner on the business and select “Suggest an edit” to let us know that the business has reopened. And for businesses that have reopened with different hours, you can also submit updated open hours information.

Update the Temporarily Closed label on Google Maps

2. Spread the word with reviews, ratings and photos

Share your experience. Writing about a restaurant’s well-executed takeout window or adding photos of the menu or dish you ordered in your Maps review can help businesses you love attract more customers.


Leave a review on Google Maps

3. Try an online class

Missing your go-to yoga studio or in desperate need of a consultation with your hair stylist? Many businesses are pivoting to online services due to COVID-19 restrictions, and you can now see local businesses offering online classes, appointments and estimates, right on Google Search and Maps. Search using terms like “yoga classes near me,” “hair salons” or “piano lessons” to see some of the businesses near you offering these services—and even book directly on Google Search or Maps via a number of our Reserve with Google partners.
Book an online class with Google Maps

4. Buy a gift card or leave a donation

If you have the means, purchase a gift card or make a donation to help businesses in your community. Doing so gives business owners the funds to support employees, while reassuring them that they’ll have your business in the future. If you’re in the U.S., the U.K. or Canada, you can simply type "support local businesses" or a similar term in Google Search to see a list of businesses in your area that are accepting donations or offering gift cards. And for a limited time, you can also click the banner in your Google Maps app on your phone to find businesses near you that are looking for support. Businesses in more than 25 countries can now set up gift card or donation campaigns through Google My Business.

Buy a Gift Card or Donate to a local business

5. Make a reservation for a future appointment

Missed reservations and skipped services are understandable these days, but they can be stressful to local business owners and employees. Consider rescheduling services and appointments for a future date so you can assure local merchants that they still have your business. Plenty of salons and other businesses take appointments and reservations directly from Search or Maps.


Book a later appointment

6. Order delivery or takeout

Many restaurants and bars that are closed for dine-in service have pivoted to takeout and delivery. If you’re not in the mood to cook, treat yourself while supporting one of your local restaurants. Use Google Maps to find restaurants around you that are offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery, or no-contact delivery.


Takeout and delivery options in Google Maps

Now sending: Business Messages via Google Maps and Search

People develop loyalty to the brands that make it easy to purchase products and services and connect with their customer support. Google has built digital tools to help brands do this, including the ability to message customers through Google Maps and Search, via Google My Business. Messaging has become such a valuable way to connect with customers that twice as many businesses are messaging via Google now, compared to last year.

Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS. To improve connections with customers, we’ve recently introduced new smart replies, visual product carousels, and unique welcome messages. There’s also a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent, so that it's not disruptive when the customer messages a business.

Several organizations, including Woolworths, Walmart and MyGov were among the first to try the updated Business Messages experience to make customer care more effective and efficient, particularly during COVID-19. Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, allows customers to search for products and see availability and aisle information at their local store, plus get details about hours and COVID-19 related updates to make shopping easier. In just a few messages, Walmart lets customers quickly find up-to-date information about store hours, pick-up and delivery options, precautions and more. And MyGov, with partner Amplify.ai, is providing help and answering live questions from Indian citizens about hours, COVID-19 helplines, and ways to volunteer and donate, for more than 11,000 food and night shelters across India.

A number of brands are using Business Messages to sell products and answer customer questions along the way. Mattress Firm, with messaging partner Podium, is successfully selling mattresses directly through Business Messages by sharing videos and product information, even while stores were closed due to COVID-19. DISH, with partner [24]7.ai, has seen a reduction of more than 22 percent in average handle time using Business Messages features compared to other messaging channels.

As brands connect with their customers via Business Messages, we’re experimenting with more ways for them to highlight this communications tool on Search. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the same smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.

Business Messages is currently available in English, with expanded coverage to other languages launching soon. Brands and messaging partners can sign up to access the Business Messages API and developer documentation. We also have partners ready to help brands optimize their messaging flow with engaged customers. Businesses can also still manage messaging through Google My Business

Now sending: Business Messages via Google Maps and Search

People develop loyalty to the brands that make it easy to purchase products and services and connect with their customer support. Google has built digital tools to help brands do this, including the ability to message customers through Google Maps and Search, via Google My Business. Messaging has become such a valuable way to connect with customers that twice as many businesses are messaging via Google now, compared to last year.

Today we’re expanding Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses, and giving them the ability to integrate Business Messages directly with their customer service platforms. Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS. To improve connections with customers, we’ve recently introduced new smart replies, visual product carousels, and unique welcome messages. There’s also a smooth transition from automated replies to a customer service agent, so that it's not disruptive when the customer messages a business.

Several organizations, including Woolworths, Walmart and MyGov were among the first to try the updated Business Messages experience to make customer care more effective and efficient, particularly during COVID-19. Woolworths, Australia's largest supermarket, allows customers to search for products and see availability and aisle information at their local store, plus get details about hours and COVID-19 related updates to make shopping easier. In just a few messages, Walmart lets customers quickly find up-to-date information about store hours, pick-up and delivery options, precautions and more. And MyGov, with partner Amplify.ai, is providing help and answering live questions from Indian citizens about hours, COVID-19 helplines, and ways to volunteer and donate, for more than 11,000 food and night shelters across India.

A number of brands are using Business Messages to sell products and answer customer questions along the way. Mattress Firm, with messaging partner Podium, is successfully selling mattresses directly through Business Messages by sharing videos and product information, even while stores were closed due to COVID-19. DISH, with partner [24]7.ai, has seen a reduction of more than 22 percent in average handle time using Business Messages features compared to other messaging channels.

As brands connect with their customers via Business Messages, we’re experimenting with more ways for them to highlight this communications tool on Search. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly “Message” right from their site and offer the same smart automated replies, paired with live agent connection.

Business Messages is currently available in English, with expanded coverage to other languages launching soon. Brands and messaging partners can sign up to access the Business Messages API and developer documentation. We also have partners ready to help brands optimize their messaging flow with engaged customers. Businesses can also still manage messaging through Google My Business

6 ways you can support local businesses with Google Maps

Editor’s Note: Small businesses are crucial to our communities. As we head into International Small Business Day on June 27, we’ve compiled six Google Maps tips anyone can use to help small businesses during the pandemic. 

As cities and economies start to reopen, people are looking for ways to support their favorite small businesses. We recently announced new features to help business owners get support, adjust operations and reach customers in new ways, and have heard from people around the world that they want to support their favorite small businesses. 

Here are six easy ways you can show support for small businesses in your community right now:


1. Report a place as re-opened and edit other helpful information 

Business owners may not have the time or resources to keep the information on their online listing updated. If you know a business has reopened to the public, but it’s still marked as closed on Google Search or Maps, you can report it as re-opened. Click on the “Temporarily Closed” banner on the business and select “Suggest an edit” to let us know that the business has reopened. And for businesses that have reopened with different hours, you can also submit updated open hours information.

Update the Temporarily Closed label on Google Maps

2. Spread the word with reviews, ratings and photos

Share your experience. Writing about a restaurant’s well-executed takeout window or adding photos of the menu or dish you ordered in your Maps review can help businesses you love attract more customers.


Leave a review on Google Maps

3. Try an online class

Missing your go-to yoga studio or in desperate need of a consultation with your hair stylist? Many businesses are pivoting to online services due to COVID-19 restrictions, and you can now see local businesses offering online classes, appointments and estimates, right on Google Search and Maps. Search using terms like “yoga classes near me,” “hair salons” or “piano lessons” to see some of the businesses near you offering these services—and even book directly on Google Search or Maps via a number of our Reserve with Google partners.
Book an online class with Google Maps

4. Buy a gift card or leave a donation

If you have the means, purchase a gift card or make a donation to help businesses in your community. Doing so gives business owners the funds to support employees, while reassuring them that they’ll have your business in the future. If you’re in the U.S., the U.K. or Canada, you can simply type "support local businesses" or a similar term in Google Search to see a list of businesses in your area that are accepting donations or offering gift cards. And for a limited time, you can also click the banner in your Google Maps app on your phone to find businesses near you that are looking for support. Businesses in more than 25 countries can now set up gift card or donation campaigns through Google My Business.

Buy a Gift Card or Donate to a local business

5. Make a reservation for a future appointment

Missed reservations and skipped services are understandable these days, but they can be stressful to local business owners and employees. Consider rescheduling services and appointments for a future date so you can assure local merchants that they still have your business. Plenty of salons and other businesses take appointments and reservations directly from Search or Maps.


Book a later appointment

6. Order delivery or takeout

Many restaurants and bars that are closed for dine-in service have pivoted to takeout and delivery. If you’re not in the mood to cook, treat yourself while supporting one of your local restaurants. Use Google Maps to find restaurants around you that are offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery, or no-contact delivery.


Takeout and delivery options in Google Maps

6 ways you can support local businesses with Google Maps

Editor’s Note: Small businesses are crucial to our communities. As we head into International Small Business Day on June 27, we’ve compiled six Google Maps tips anyone can use to help small businesses during the pandemic. 

As cities and economies start to reopen, people are looking for ways to support their favorite small businesses. We recently announced new features to help business owners get support, adjust operations and reach customers in new ways, and have heard from people around the world that they want to support their favorite small businesses. 

Here are six easy ways you can show support for small businesses in your community right now:


1. Report a place as re-opened and edit other helpful information 

Business owners may not have the time or resources to keep the information on their online listing updated. If you know a business has reopened to the public, but it’s still marked as closed on Google Search or Maps, you can report it as re-opened. Click on the “Temporarily Closed” banner on the business and select “Suggest an edit” to let us know that the business has reopened. And for businesses that have reopened with different hours, you can also submit updated open hours information.

Update the Temporarily Closed label on Google Maps

2. Spread the word with reviews, ratings and photos

Share your experience. Writing about a restaurant’s well-executed takeout window or adding photos of the menu or dish you ordered in your Maps review can help businesses you love attract more customers.


Leave a review on Google Maps

3. Try an online class

Missing your go-to yoga studio or in desperate need of a consultation with your hair stylist? Many businesses are pivoting to online services due to COVID-19 restrictions, and you can now see local businesses offering online classes, appointments and estimates, right on Google Search and Maps. Search using terms like “yoga classes near me,” “hair salons” or “piano lessons” to see some of the businesses near you offering these services—and even book directly on Google Search or Maps via a number of our Reserve with Google partners.
Book an online class with Google Maps

4. Buy a gift card or leave a donation

If you have the means, purchase a gift card or make a donation to help businesses in your community. Doing so gives business owners the funds to support employees, while reassuring them that they’ll have your business in the future. If you’re in the U.S., the U.K. or Canada, you can simply type "support local businesses" or a similar term in Google Search to see a list of businesses in your area that are accepting donations or offering gift cards. And for a limited time, you can also click the banner in your Google Maps app on your phone to find businesses near you that are looking for support. Businesses in more than 25 countries can now set up gift card or donation campaigns through Google My Business.

Buy a Gift Card or Donate to a local business

5. Make a reservation for a future appointment

Missed reservations and skipped services are understandable these days, but they can be stressful to local business owners and employees. Consider rescheduling services and appointments for a future date so you can assure local merchants that they still have your business. Plenty of salons and other businesses take appointments and reservations directly from Search or Maps.


Book a later appointment

6. Order delivery or takeout

Many restaurants and bars that are closed for dine-in service have pivoted to takeout and delivery. If you’re not in the mood to cook, treat yourself while supporting one of your local restaurants. Use Google Maps to find restaurants around you that are offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery, or no-contact delivery.


Takeout and delivery options in Google Maps

Finding COVID-19 testing centers in Search, Maps, and Assistant in India

Many experts agree that widespread testing is a key tool in the fight against COVID-19. That's why we're working with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and MyGov to help people find local COVID-19 testing centres on Google Search, Assistant, and Maps.


When making a coronavirus-related search (eg. “coronavirus testing”), people will now see a ‘Testing’ tab on the results page providing a list of nearby testing labs along with key information and guidance needed before using their services. This includes government-mandated requirements such as: 
  • Calling the national or state helplines before heading out to get tested
  • Carrying a doctor’s prescription (referral required)
  • Testing restrictions (tests are limited to certain patients)
  • Information about whether the lab is government- or private-run.




    Search for ‘Covid 19 testing’ to see nearby authorized test labs, along with key recommendations (images are representational)


    On Google Maps, when people search for keywords like “covid 19 testing” or “coronavirus testing” they will see a list of nearby testing labs, with a link to Google Search for the government-mandated requirements.
    Search for ‘Covid 19 testing’ on Maps to see a list of nearby testing labs, with a link to Google Search for testing requirements (image representational)


    While this experience is designed to help people find authorized testing centers near them, it's important to follow the recommended guidelines that help determine testing eligibility before visiting. Tapping the ‘Learn more’ link leads to authoritative information from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.


    So far we have integrated over 700 testing labs on Search, Assistant, and Maps spanning more than 300 cities, and we continue to work with ICMR as we surface more labs across the country. This experience is available in English and in eight Indian languages -- Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, and Gujarati.


    We hope these new experiences play a part in helping people as well as healthcare workers as we collectively work toward overcoming this pandemic. 

    Posted by Jayant Baliga, Product Manager, Google Maps