What is an attribute?

In December 2016, Google removed descriptions from Google My Business listings and replaced them with a new feature in the form of ‘attributes’. Although the description has now been reintroduced, attributes are also still listed and do, in fact, have a strong impact on your SEO! Let Partoo tell you a bit more about it

In practical terms, attributes are tags that characterize and describe your points of sale, such as ‘Good value for money, ‘Wi-Fi’, ‘Festive atmosphere’ or ‘Checks accepted’. They can be edited either in the Info tab of your Google My Business listing or, if you have multiple points of sale, via your Partoo Customer Success representative.

These attributes were originally not even visible to Internet users and therefore only affected the Google algorithm. Nowadays, however, attributes appear to users in two forms in the mobile version:

  • In the form of icons displayed on certain listings

  • In the ‘About’ section

Not all attributes are available for all point-of-sale types and the rules change very quickly; the ‘Wi-Fi’ attribute, for example, will not be available for the ‘Bank’ category. Some categories, such as restaurants, will also have many more attributes to choose from than other categories of establishment.

To put it simply, a point of sale’s eligibility for an attribute will depend on two factors, namely the establishment’s categories and the country in which it is located. Generally speaking, the primary category has the greatest impact on eligibility where attributes are concerned. On that note, please don't hesitate to contact your Partoo Customer Success representative to put in place the best strategy for you and choose your categories (remember, you can have up to 9!)

What are attributes for?

Attributes serve two purposes within Google My Business. The first is to provide Internet users with further information before they visit your establishment, which is precisely why badges are displayed directly on the listing

The second purpose is ultimately the most important. Attributes are, in fact, mainly used to improve the Google algorithm to allow the search engine to return suggestions that better correspond to what the Internet user is looking for. This means that when someone searches for ‘Bar with Wi-Fi’ or ‘Pizzeria with terrace’, your establishment will have a better chance of appearing in the results if you have selected these attributes.

Attributes are therefore very much in keeping with the major trend we are seeing for voice searches, which are, of course, much longer and more specific than desktop or mobile searches. Internet users performing voice searches are, for example, no longer simply looking for a restaurant, but rather “a restaurant with a terrace for partying with friends and drinking good cocktails”, which, as luck would have it, covers 3 Google attributes! It is vital, therefore, that you keep your attributes up to date as voice searches become more popular, in order to optimise your SEO! Note also that adding attributes will help ensure that your listings appear naturally since Google will know that you are working on the issue and that your point-of-sale information is more likely to be up to date than that of your competitors

What are the different types of attribute?

Attributes can be classified by type, with those attributes that can be edited by the owner because they are based on objective criteria appearing first:

  • Accessibility attributes: wheelchair accessible entrance, elevator, parking, etc.

  • Payment attributes: credit cards, checks, mobile payments accepted, etc.

  • Service attributes: these often include services such as Wi-Fi, changing rooms and toilets.

  • Specific dining services: delivery, brunch, rooftop, terrace, fireplace, concerts, reservations accepted, etc.

  • Offerings attributes: these depend heavily on the category and include, for example, ‘New vehicles’, 'Certified pre-owned vehicles’, ‘Oil change’, etc. for establishments in the automotive industry

  • Crowd attributes: adults-only, family-friendly, LGBTQ-friendly, etc.

Next, there are the subjective attributes, which are based on the Internet-user’s fair judgement. There are two kinds of subjective attributes:

  • The so-called ‘main characteristics’: good discounts, good value for money, good products, good wines, fast service, excellent local specialities, etc.

  • Ambiance attributes: relaxed, festive, historical, high-end, etc. Below is an example of an ambiance attribute request (‘Trendy crowd’), where the user has the option to answer questions about a specific point of sale on their mobile device.

While accessibility and payment attributes are available for almost all categories, this is not so much the case with offerings attributes. Generally speaking, a category will have between 5 and 30 attributes.

How do I manage my attributes via Google My Business?

It is important to understand that an attribute can have several ‘statuses’ for a given point of sale. These are as follows:

  • Not available for your category: you can't do anything about this

  • Unknown (attributes in light grey)

  • Available at this point of sale (attributes in blue)

  • Unavailable at this point of sale (attributes in dark grey)

An attribute can be changed in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Via your Google My Business space

  • Directly on the listing by any Internet user (in the About section)

  • From external data sources such as Booking.com for hoteliers, in which the attribute status is then pre-determined

  • From questions asked to Google’s Local Guides who answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a list of questions after leaving a review

  • Via Partoo

How do I manage my attributes via Partoo?

Please read this article to learn how to manage your attributes via Partoo.

If you are not yet a Partoo customer and you need help managing your point-of-sale network, please feel free to make an appointment using the chat feature in the bottom right-hand corner.



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