by Joy Hawkins
In this Guide:
Why you should add an opening date
Earlier this year, Google started to display opening dates in the local pack results. If you choose to not add your opening date inside Google My Business (GMB), Google will often pick a date based on other sources – and these sources could easily be wrong. I recently did an audit for a business that was displaying as being open for 7 years, when in reality they have been open for 23 years! Since Google actually allows you to control this, there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to fill it out. In the example below, what would you be more likely to choose – the business that has been open for 3 years, the one that’s been open 115 years, or the one with no information filled out?
How to Add an Opening Date
You can add an opening date to a Google My Business (GMB) listing from the GMB Dashboard or from a public edit to the Knowledge Panel on Google.
Inside the Google My Business Dashboard:
- Pull up the listing
- Click the Info tab
- Scroll down to the very bottom and there should be a field called opening date
Using Suggest an Edit on Google Maps:
- Go to maps.google.com
- Pull up the listing
- Click “suggest an edit”
- Click “name or other details”
- Add or edit the opening date
Adding a Google My Business listing for a location that hasn’t opened yet
You can add a listing to Google My Business if it is opening in the next 3 months. To make sure it reflects properly on Google, set the opening date to the date the location will open.
If you add the month and the year Google will delete the hours on the listing and show the business as “opens [insert month]” until that month has passed.
If the business hasn’t opened yet, it can still rank in the 3pack, as pictured above for Starbucks. The opening label will show up on it to help indicate it’s not open yet and no hours will be present.
Once the location is open, it will show as “new on Google“.
Before your opening date, you can publish Google My Business posts, photos & videos and add things like a business description. You can fill in your business hours but Google won’t display them in the Knowledge Panel until after the opening date.
Eduard de Boer pointed out that you can’t find the business in Google Maps until the opening date (which makes sense) so I would advise telling people to enter the business address into Google Maps for directions instead of the business name. Eduard also gives a tip on how to get a link to the Google Maps listing which is to search it on Google first and then click on the map that shows up in the Knowledge Panel.
What Year Should You Put?
Google has decided that it’s up to the business owner to decide whether they use the date that location opened or the official opening date of the business as a whole.
Our advice would usually be to go with the oldest date possible. “15+ years in business” looks a lot better in the search results compared to “1+years in business”. If a business opens a new location, we would recommend you set the date they opened the first location. There may be exceptions to this. For example, restaurants could benefit from the location being displayed as new.
The opening date that is set in GMB has no influence on what displays on Local Services Ads.