What You Need to Know About Google Reviews, Google Ads, and GMB During the COVID-19 Shutdown

While we all adjust to this unprecedented worldwide event, there are many changes being made by social media sites, search engines, and other digital platforms that small businesses should be aware of as they switch their focus to digital marketing. One of the biggest platforms all marketers should follow is Google. Google dominates the web, so you want to stay up-to-date on the changes or updates they’ve made due to staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google Reviews

  • Google reviews are not being published at this time. The reason? Just like other companies, Google scaled back on their workforce during this time and they do not have the resources to handle things like disputed reviews. We don’t have information on how they plan to handle the backlog once things get back to normal, but we expect them to go up at some point.

Google Ads

  • Google Ad changes are taking longer than normal to be approved, but they are being approved.
  • Ad programs that we setup and were running before the shutdown are still running normally.
  • Google was blocking ads mentioning coronavirus/COVID-19 as early as January, but they’re starting to relax their restrictions “to ensure that we are protecting users while prioritizing critical information.”

Google My Business

  • Google My Business posts are also delayed and not showing up at this time. We believe these will publish, but not until Google is running at full speed again.
  • If you make changes to your Google My Business, they are saving but not publishing due to no humans being available to do a review/approval.
  • Changes to your hours or displaying a temporary close to your business ARE being prioritized and will show on the GMB listing.


  • YouTube Channels are not updating with new videos being posted on the site, but you can still grab code to add to your website or share the direct link within your social posts so videos will show. They just are not getting indexed and published on YouTube. Having said that, you may find in the future that a video may be denied and taken down if Google determines it is not appropriate.
  • Since YouTube is owned by Google, they were also restricting ads or revenue gained by videos that mentioned coronavirus/COVID-19. They are relaxing this policy, but it is something to be aware of as you post or advertise on the platform.

Generally, you’ll just need to keep an eye on your Google entities for the next few weeks until things get back to normal. Also expect non-critical updates and some inquiries you send to Google to be potentially delayed. We will continue to monitor the situation and share tips and blogs if more big changes are being made. Reach out if you have any questions about this info or if you want to learn more about how to optimize your marketing plan in these difficult times.

That’s My Idea Marketing specializes in small business marketing plans, and all of our services are done in house.