It’s Australia Day 2016, and Google knows that your practice is likely to be closed, and is making sure people in your location know it!
If you needed any evidence that Google is serious when it comes to making sure that users get the best possible experience from their search engine, here’s a piece that appeared today- January 26, Australia Day.
On this page are screenshots (sadly both taken after usual closing hours- it IS a public holiday after all!) of the local results for the searches “Dentist Sydney” and “Dentist Perth”.
You may have noticed that the local listings currently highlight the opening hours of each business (by indicating when the business will open. So early in the morning you might see a local listing saying “Opens at 8:30am” , and a search at lunchtime might be greeted with the information “Open Until 5:30pm).
But of course, today is a public holiday across Australia. Most dental practices are closed today.
And Google’s local algorithm clearly knows this.
Look at the top of the listings, just below the map. Google’s algorithm has inserted a note (in a cheerful amber colour, the international indicator that one should be alert):
Australia Day might affect these hours
This tells us a couple of important things about Google’s Local Algorithm:
- Google continues to tweak it so that it’s as helpful as possible to users of its search engine
- Your business hours are clearly considered to be important
What Should You Do About This?
- Make sure your business hours are clearly visible on your website
- Make sure your business hours are kept up-to-date
- Make sure other websites (especially online business directories) also have up-to-date business hours for your website
- To make your business hours crystal clear to Google (and other search engines), have your webmaster or developer mark them up using “Schema”.