Google is launching a new tool that allows companies to identify themselves as Black’s property through the company’s Maps and Search lists. The new feature is part of the company’s promise announced last month to support the black community with “initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions”.
When you search for a business through Google.com or Google Maps, you can now see a new badge to represent businesses owned by Black – it’s a black heart over an orange three-striped background, as you can see in these images. They must claim their business on Google and check if they are the owner by post, telephone or email before they can apply for the badge; it is not clear how and whether Google can actually see if they are owned by Black. In 2018, Google introduced similar badges that companies can display if they either “Led by womenAnd / or friendly to members of the LGBTQ + community.
Google says it has seen “ a wave of online searches for black-owned businesses ” in recent months as consumers want to spend money on these businesses to show support amid the Black Lives Matter protests. One of Google’s main business listing competitors, Yelp, which recently introduced its own icon owned by Black, has seen a similar increase in searches for the same type of business. Yelp said in its second quarter earnings report that there were more than 2.5 million searches for black owned businesses between May 25 and July 10.