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Q&A Auto-Suggest Featuring GMB Reviews, Q&A, Posts and Products Beta

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

While it seemed that ‘the world and his/her wife/husband/partner/significant other’ were generally living it up and getting their brain massaged at #MozCon some of us were crying into our cornflakes and poking around in the guts of Google My Business.

Yesterday I was reading around the topic of the auto-suggest functionality on GMB Q&A – a couple of pieces I had read suggested that it was now being populated purely from review content.

I wanted to check this out for myself, and in the process Carrie Hill and myself found that in fact it’s now being populated from existing Q&A, Reviews, Google Posts AND Products (Beta)!

What does this look like?

If you haven’t played around with the auto-suggest feature, GatherUp wrote an excellent roundup post that describes how it works.

Yesterday (17.7.2019) Carrie and I found existing Q&A, Google Posts and Products (Beta) populating this area:

Training the algorithm?

Rather than being an upvoting system, I guess it’s likely the ‘is this helpful’ system is training the algorithm, to help Google understand WHAT types of content are valuable in this area in terms of user intent?

Why is this important?

So, I guess we don’t really know how users are using the Q&A auto-suggest functionality in the knowledge panel (business profile, whatever it is called this month) – it’s all so new.  With so many new features tumbling out of Google at the moment (while meanwhile what one would imagine should be the foundations of GMB are in chaos in terms of suspensions, reviews disappearingmanaging spam and any number of bugs all recorded on the local search forum) it’s difficult to predict what will happen next with this feature – will this get traction in terms of consumer usage? 

How DO consumers learn about features and how to use them? What will Google do next with this data? So many questions!

What should I do next?

Miriam Ellis sums it up beautifully here:

My takeaway from this: be sure your Google Posts are addressing common and lucrative leads-based questions, so that there's a chance Google will pull them as answers, instead of only pulling your reviews, not all of which may be awesome. — Miriam Ellis (@Miriam_Ellis_) July 17, 2019

For me it’s another indicator that it’s super important that businesses make the most of ALL of the content opportunities available to them in GMB and control the message as far as possible by including relevant posts, posing (or seeding) their own Q&A, including searched for products in products beta, and using an ‘enhanced ask’ for reviews (how? See this from Whitespark).

What else have YOU seen making it’s way into the Q&A autosuggest?


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