Recently, a Google My Business update has added Subjective Attributes, providing a fresh way for business owners to know what customers think of their company. As well as giving new information to business owners, the new data can also be used to provide other customers with a clear picture of what your business can offer them and why they should choose your service.
Users in Google have a range of different options when determining whether your business is the right fit for their needs. Some will take a quick glance at your site’s rich snippet. Others will look at the information provided on Google My Business, particularly when exploring a local company in their area.
Subjective Attributes are in many ways, the next step for this process.
The Difference Between Objective And Subjective Attributes
Google My Business has been operating with objective attributes for years. With objective attributes, owners or marketers can provide information and context that they think matches their business. Objective attributes are facts, rather than opinions about your business. Examples of objective attributes might include, types of drinks you offer, types of food or whether you serve meals appropriate to certain diets.
While objective attributes can come directly from the business owner, they may also be suggested by customers who have used their business before. When enough customers suggest the same attribute they will be recommended in your Google My Business dashboard. It’s important to keep a check on these if you want to make sure that your business stays fresh and up to date.
These attributes will be determined by your type of business. They could be anything from your company being LGBTQ friendly to whether you accept credit cards. While some types of business have countless attributes to choose from, others will only have a couple.
Subjective Attributes are based on the opinion of your customers. As a business owner, you can not choose Subjective Attributes. Instead, these will be completely under the control of those searching your business and submitting answers through Google Maps.
Once several customers suggest an attribute for your business, it will be marked as a Subjective Attribute. There will be more information in your insights tab under What Your Business Is Known For. The attributes will be shown as a score. Attributes may include your business being: good for families, great for tourists or causal. These are just some of the possible examples that might show up on your report.
Let’s Get Technical
Google began to offer the option to provide objective attributes for your business in 2016. It was during this time that Google asked whether customers “know this place” through Google Maps in iOS and Android. This allowed them to start gathering information for Subjective Attributes.
Google operates through machine learning. However, human input is an essential part of the algorithm. To gain accurate data, Google must ask the same or similar questions to as many users as possible. However, there is still some debate about the validity of these subjective attributes.
Just How Reliable Are These Subjective Attributes, Really?
As with any data gathering system, there are issues. Calls and clicks are not always going to be reliable. This is due to the limitation of answers that customers can provide. Customers are given three choices for each question:
- Not sure
If they wish, they can expand these to include more options, potentially that can be used to train the Google algorithm and determine which questions work and which variations don’t. Despite this flaw, the system will provide a baseline to work with for data.
However, there is also the potential for the system to be manipulated or distorted. Fake reviews can be common on Google My Business. If someone finds a way to convince a massive group of customers, they have frequented a business that they have never been to, this could lead to inaccurate information for future users.
The issue here is that you do not have the power to change Subjective Attributes. So, even if the information is false, you won’t be able to alter it.
Using Subjective Attributes To Your Advantage
Subjective Attributes are most useful for places like restaurants and bars. While you can’t directly control these attributes, you can influence them. You can start by examining the questions asked by Google, looking for new questions to consider.
You can also change your business description and posts to include objective attributes you want users to notice and highlight. You can even change your business offline too, using signs and other cues to push users towards the Subjective Attributes that you want. For instance, if you want to bring in the families, make sure you label your business like this with signs and displays.