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Short Names and Why Google is Removing Them

Google Knowledge Panel

What is a Knowledge Panel

Google My Business is the central hub for your “knowledge panel” in Google Search. It’s where you’ll find your business information like address, phone number, photos of your business and Short Names for reviews. You will find GMB at: That is also where you will find valuable Insights on how people have viewed your listing online. You can see how many calls you got, how many requests for directions and how you stack up against your competition in photo views.

What is a Short Name?

One thing we liked about Google My Business was the ability to create a “short name” giving you a custom URL to send customers to write Google Reviews. It made life easier to have a URL like to send to your customers and ask for reviews.

Recently I tried to create a short name for a client and it kept freezing up and giving me unkown errors. I contacted Google support who apparently had the same issue and had to escalate it. Today I got the email back that said, “Thanks for your patience on this issue. I have received a response from my team and I would like to inform you that you won’t be able to add any short names for your business page as this feature is no longer available. You can no longer create or edit short names. Short names and URLs that already exist will still work.”

As you can imagine, my response was, “What? Why? What will replace it?” The answer is, because Google wishes it to be so. We have no idea. When I responded asking what was going to replace it. They told me that there was no replacement. So for the lucky ones who paid attention (or hired us), you will have a nice, neat, branded URL to send to your customers. For the others, you will need to use some variation of numbers and letters that Google has assigned to you. It’s unfortunate, but sadly, that’s how things go in this industry.

What is Google My Business?

If you have no idea what Google My Business is, or what we’re talking about here, take a look at the featured image on this blog. That shows the knowledge panel as it appears in Google Search. Google gives every new business this listing and it is up to you to claim it and verify the information. If you don’t, Google will fill in whatever information it can find, and there you go, that’s how the internet views your business. We ran across one business whose featured image was what the Google car took from the street during a bad rain storm. You can’t tell what the storefront looks like and the business just looks sad. Don’t let that be you.

You can also use Google My Business to make weekly posts about your business (they are removed after 7 days), post holiday closures and items like menus, make bookings available, and much more. If you need assistance claiming and verifying your listing, visit our Google My Business information page, or give us call at (321) 345-8288.