Google Maps now has a label for LGBTQ + -owned businesses

A woman wears a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 outside a Columbia store, as a sign in a window shows support for LGBTQ + Pride Month in the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets mall during a new coronavirus pandemic, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.

Businesses can now choose to identify themselves on Google Maps.
Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack (AP)

Google has introduced a new brand in Maps and Search, which allows businesses to identify themselves as LGBTQ + -owned, and adds to a range of labels already on Google Maps designed to help people find and support local businesses. It also comes with the capacity to report any related harassment.

Wednesday has the company announced the new feature available to U.S. salespeople with a verified company profile on Google. Other brands that already exist on the platform are Black-owned, Latino-owned, veteran-owned and women-owned companies. The labels must be added by the business owner himself rather than of members of society. Once added, the labels will appear on Google Maps and in search results for LGBTQ + -owned companies. Google does not currently have a system to verify the self-identifiable labels, although it does make it clear that the label was added by the company itself.

A screenshot of Google Maps "LGBTQ owned" label

Illustration: Google Maps

Google already has tools and resources in place for people looking for LGBTQ + -friendly businesses, allowing business owners to add specific labels to their Google Maps and search results, such as “LGBTQ-friendly”, “Transgender safespace” and “Gender neutral toilet.”

“This builds on our previous work with the globally available LGBTQ + -friendly and transgender safespace attributes and offers a more objective feature that only companies can add to their profiles,” wrote Mackenzie Thomas, Product and Marketing Inclusion Manager at Google, in a announcement.

To add label, business owners should go to their profile, click on ‘edit profile’ and select ‘business information’. From the ‘more’ tab, there will be a list of categories that business owners can identify as. Google also has a system through which business owners can report abuse or harassment they receive from customers as a result of their label. “You may report negative or abusive reviews that you believe you have received as a result of identifying your business as owned by someone with the identity you have chosen,” the company wrote. “Google will review each report and strive to take appropriate action.”

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