Google to Display Women-Led Attribute in Map & Search Results

March 8 was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. To coincide with that event, Google announced that map and search results will make it easier to identify women-led businesses. The attribute is connected directly to the Google My Business dashboard.

The attribute, a female gender symbol, will appear directly on a business’s GMB listing, where users can find other relevant information about the business, like Wi-Fi availability or customer ratings. Business owners must self-report that their business is female led from their own GMB dashboard. Although Google doesn’t itself verify this specific attribute, users are able to report any questionable issues.

As of 2017, in the US, more than 11.6 million businesses were owned by women. These businesses employed nearly 9 million people and generated $1.7 trillion in sales, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Additionally, a 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses report from American Express Open recorded that between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses. And GoDaddy has independently said that about 60% of new businesses are started by women.

The new female gender symbol is also interesting because it potentially opens the door to other kinds of labeling in search results (e.g., eco-friendly, ethical badges), depending on the category.

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