Google is launching a new tool that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s Maps and Search listings. This new feature is part of the company’s pledge announced last month to support the black community with “initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions”.
When searching for a business through Google.com or Google Maps, you’ll now be able to see a new badge to represent Black-owned businesses.
The business owners need to claim their business on Google and verify they owned it my mail, phone or email before they can apply for the badge; it’s not clear how or whether Google can actually tell if they are Black-owned.
In 2018, Google introduced similar badges for businesses to display if they were either “Women-Led” and/or friendly to members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Google says it has seen “a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses” as consumers look to spend money at these businesses to show support amid the Black Lives Matter protests.
Google is competing with other main business listing platforms such as Yelp, which introduced its own Black-owned icon recently, which has seen a similar increase in searches for the same type of businesses.
Yelp said in its Q2 earnings report that there were more than 2.5 million searches for Black-owned businesses between May 25 and July 10.