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We currently live in a digital age. Consumers and businesses alike have flocked to the internet, which presents them with countless opportunities to interact with each other. Businesses can reach a wider audience, while consumers can connect with the right brands. Businesses as large as Apple and Amazon to small mom-and-pop shops are establishing their presence online.

Consumers are also active on the internet. In 2017, 97% of consumers went online to look for local businesses. About 12% of those consumers were looking for a local business every day. With more and more consumers online now more than ever, businesses are looking for any advantage to improve their success and reach online.

Google provides many options that businesses and brands can utilize to improve their local SEO. One such tool is Google Posts, which was introduced back in 2016. Google Posts was not popular among businesses right away. Many expected Google to scrap the tool after a few months. However, in the years since, Posts has become a vital component in improving your SEO.

Unfortunately, in early February 2020, many businesses discovered a concerning issue regarding Google Posts. People were noticing Google was rejecting their posts. Many people believe that their Posts were non-compliant with Google’s guidelines, leading to their rejection.

At ARYU Advertising, we understand the importance of utilizing all available tools, both paid and free, that can help your business grow. Google Posts is just one of many available to your business. ARYU has been monitoring the situation regarding Google Posts. In today’s blog, we are going to discuss exactly what Google Posts are and why Google has been rejecting images.

What are Google Posts?

In January 2016, Google launched Google Posts. While it had a relatively slow start, Posts quickly became an integral part of many businesses’ marketing campaigns. You can find Google Posts in your Google My Business (GMB) listing, which should also be an important part of your digital advertising strategy. Set up your listing today if you haven’t already.

Posts are short and to the point. These posts only contain between 100-300 words and last roughly about a week, aside from a few exceptions. Each post also includes a photo or video that grabs a consumer’s attention. Even more, these posts are free, meaning your marketing budget doesn’t take a hit when you use them.

Because they expire after a while, businesses need to post fresh new content to engage with consumers. All GMB Posts also come with an option to include a Call to Action (CTA), encouraging consumers to continue exploring your brand further on your website.

How Do Posts Help Your Business?

GMB Posts can greatly boost your overall SEO strategy. Traffic is crucial to Google. If your page or listing is getting steady traffic, this indicates to Google that it’s worthy of more traffic. By including a CTA on your Posts, you encourage consumers with an interest in your business to gather more information about your brand outside of Google by clicking through to your site. This increases your overall website traffic.

They don’t just view your page. They do so by going through your GMB listing, which is critical to improving your ranking. Going to your site directly instead of through a search holds higher value to Google.

In 2020, voice-based searches online will make up 50% of all searches across the internet. Since most of these voice searches are conducted on mobile, which typically has limited space, you need your Posts to have engaging images or videos to grab the attention of a user.

GMB Posts can improve traffic to certain areas of your site you want to improve the rankings of. They also help you collect contact information from users who visit your site, allowing you to bring repeated traffic to your site.

Rejected GMB Posts

In early February 2020, many businesses began to notice that Google kept rejecting their posts. While little is known why these posts were being rejected, the likely cause for this appears to be images that don’t follow Google’s image guidelines.

Businesses flooded the Google My Business Help forum with questions and complaints. While many businesses struggle to get their posts up, some were able to get theirs posted.

One theory suggests that Google was hammering down on its wish to improve the overall quality of images in posts. Mainly, Google wants users to stop using stock photos. Their guidelines specifically say stock imagery is not permitted, stating, “Stock imagery, or photos or videos taken by other parties, are not relevant and may be removed. If the primary subject of the content is irrelevant to the location, it may be removed.”

There wasn’t a clear reason for these rejections. Google has not released a statement explaining what the issue was. But the issue seems to be resolved, as businesses are now able to post without being rejected.

Rejected Posts Problem Fixed

The following week, Google seemed to have resolved the issue. While the initial belief was that Google was simply tightening their restrictions for images, it appears the issue may have been caused by a bug. Google eventually approved these rejected posts.

Google still has not explicitly stated whether this issue was due to a bug or if they were trying to implement firmer restrictions when it came to image guidelines. The fact that the word “fix” was used to describe the resolution of this issue implies that the former may be true.

Whether the issue was because of a bug or stricter guideline enforcement, businesses need to spend more time creating more engaging and original content to stand out from their competitors while complying with Google’s guidelines. With that said, it appears that Google needs to communicate with businesses clearer to ensure brands are equipped to utilize their tools.