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Google adds ‘Black-owned’ business attribute for Maps, Search listings

Last month, CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google would “develop initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions” for the Black community. One of these efforts is a way for Black-owned businesses to identify themselves in Google Maps and Search, with that attribute launching today.

This marker comes as Google has noted a recent “surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses.” From the Google My Business portal, merchants will be able to add the Black-owned business attribute. It’s available in the US today for those with a verified Business Profile.

Appearing under “Highlights” in Google Maps and Search, the Black-owned attribute features a three-striped orange icon with a black heart at the center. It joins others like “Women-Led” and “LGBTQ-friendly,” as well as those for accessibility.

To encourage adoption of this attribute, Google is partnering with U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. on training designed to help raise presence by leveraging tools like My Business and Analytics. Other efforts include:

As part of our $300 million commitment to support underrepresented entrepreneurs, we’re integrating the attribute into the digital skills training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches. And through Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders, we’re starting our work with the first cohort of 12 startups. 

Following an open call for employee ideas, Pichai in June said the company received over 500 suggestions. Some have already been rolled out — like Assistant’s response to Black Lives Matter, while a product task force is working to prioritize and implement others. The company is also working to strengthen “policies against hate and harassment” on its platforms.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: