On February 6, 2023 Google made a lot of changes to Google Business Profile (GBP - formerly GMB for Google My Business) insights and the Business Performance API. The changes rolled out gradually and didn’t affect all listings at the same time. Here’s a rundown of the updates and what it means for GBP insight analysis, whether you’re analyzing your own business data or reporting on it for your clients.
Business Profile Views Counted Differently
What changed: How views of your business profile are counted
- Previously all views were tallied, even if the same user viewed your profile multiple times in one day.
- Now only unique views are counted (one view per user per day, max).
- Views only count if the user actually visits your Business Profile - it doesn’t count if your Business Profile is one of many visible on the Search or Maps results page (only if they click on it).
What it means: Comparing views of your Business Profile pre- and post-February 2023 is no longer apples to apples. You might notice a decline in the number of views/impressions after the change.
Directions Counted Differently
What changed: How requests for directions to your business are counted
- Google changed how unique direction requests are tallied to account for things like spam, multiple taps, and cancellations
What it means: Google says the new counting method more accurately represents actual individual requests for directions. You might notice a decline in the number of direction requests after the change.
New Metrics Added
What changed: Google released a new Business Performance API with new metrics:
- Messages, Bookings, Hotel bookings, Food orders & Food menu clicks via your GBP listing
- Mobile and Desktop views in both Google Search & Google Maps
What it means:
If your business offers bookings, a food menu, food orders or messaging via GBP you can now access and track user engagement with those features.
Now you can see how many Search and Maps users are viewing your listing on a smartphone vs a computer.
Some Metrics Removed
What changed: When Google added new metrics they also discontinued a lot of metrics.
- Overall Rating, Total Searches, Direct Searches, Discovery Searches, Total Views, Search Views, Map Views and Total Actions are no longer available*
What it means: If you were tracking these metrics you’ll only have historical data to use from now on.
*This change rolled out unevenly - we were still able to access these older metrics through October 2023 for some of our clients.
Metrics that Stayed the Same
Website clicks, Directions, and Calls are still with us. The names of these metrics changed though:
Technically, Search Views and Map Views are measuring the same thing as before, but they’re delivered as discrete data points for desktop vs mobile users now. So you’d have to add them together if you want to compare them to the older Search Views & Maps Views metrics.
Remember that both GBP views and directions insights are counted differently since February 6, 2023.
View Your GBP Search Queries More Often
What changed: Before, you could only get Google Business Profile search queries quarterly—now you can get them monthly. But there’s still a 6-month limit. Copy and archive them if you want a longer lookback.
Finding Your GBP Insights
What changed: Before, there were only two ways to access metrics from your Google Business Profile:
- Work with a developer and use the API to visualize your GBP metrics in a reporting tool or platform
- Download insights from your GBP into a spreadsheet (optional: use that spreadsheet as a data source in Looker Studio, or make charts in Excel/Google Sheets using the data)
You can still do both of those, and now there’s a third option:
- Access your Performance report direction from your Business Profile
What it means:
If you were using the (now deprecated) My Business Business Calls API and/or My Business Business Information API for reporting, you’ll need to make sure the developer updates to the new Business Profile Performance API. This Google documentation has the deprecation schedule and replacement resources for methods and metrics (where available).
If you were downloading your GBP insights into a spreadsheet the method is the same, but you’ll see new metric names across the tops of the columns.
Now you can click on “Performance” from your GBP to pull up a report with six sections:
- Overview (all interactions, views, Search queries)
- Calls (all calls, and missed calls by day of week and time of day)
- Messages (all messages sent via GBP, message response rate & average response time)
- Bookings (all bookings made via GBP)
- Directions (all direction requests made via GBP)
- Website clicks (all website clicks made via GBP)
What’s an API?
An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of rules that lets different software applications communicate with each other. APIs integrate with SEO reporting tools to access various data sources and retrieve information about website (or Business Profile) performance.
Once the data is fetched using the API, the reporting tool turns it into charts and reports. APIs also allow automation: you can schedule regular requests to update the data instead of manually downloading it. Some APIs also let you set up alerts based on changes or thresholds you define.
GBP Insight Changes Summary
Metrics we can still report on:
- Website clicks
*Remember direction requests are calculated differently since February 6, 2023.
Old metrics - historical data only:
- Overall rating
- Total searches
- Direct searches
- Discovery searches
- Total views
- Search views
- Maps views
- Total actions
New metrics - data only available going forward:
- Google Search - Desktop
- Google Search - Mobile
- Google Maps - Desktop
- Google Maps - Mobile
- Food orders
- Food menu clicks
- Hotel bookings
<div class="post-alert">If you decide to add together your desktop and mobile views in Search or Maps for year-over-year comparison, remember that views have been counted differently since February 6, 2023 (previously all views, now unique views).</div>
GBP Metrics Glossary
These are the definitions provided by Google when you download Business Profile insights into a spreadsheet.
<div class="post-note">*Confused by Food orders vs Food menu clicks? Me too! Hopefully they update the definition or remove the redundant metric soon.</div>
Google said they will update this documentation as further changes occur - the table will announce upcoming changes to existing metrics and new metrics as they’re introduced.
Google Is Continually Updating Maps & GBP
There have been many other updates to Google Maps and Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business) this year, including image carousels, attributes, social media links, and CTA buttons for third-party booking software—not to mention design changes in the Local Pack and new features for users like dietary and cuisine preferences when searching for restaurants.
It’s definitely worth checking on your Business Profile regularly to look for new opportunities to share helpful details about your business. And don’t forget to add plenty of high quality, up-to-date photos, since images in Google Maps are only getting more important!
<div class="post-note-cute">This article was created to help answer questions some of our clients have about the changes in GBP metrics. If you have questions about your Google Business Profile or anything SEO-related, don’t hesitate to reach out: <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a></div>
Resources used to create this article:
- All Business Profile policies & guidelines (Google Business Profile Help Center)
- Business Profile overview (Google Business Profile APIs documentation)
- Check your Business Profile performance & view Insights (Google Business Profile Help Center)
- Changes to your Insights data (Google Business Profile Help Center)
- Get started with Insights (Google Business Profile Help Center)
- Business Profile Performance API (Google Business Profile APIs documentation)
- Retrieve location insights (Google Business Profile APIs documentation)
- Deprecation schedule (Google Business Profile APIs documentation)
The image at the top of this article was AI generated using Canva, but the text was 100% written by a human!