Google has announced that it is launching a new tool that will allow Black-owned businesses to identify themselves as such when people search on maps and search listings. A month ago, the company pledged to support the Black community with “initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions,” and this is the first step they are taking towards that goal.
When you do a search through Google for a business, there will now be a badge that will represent all businesses that are Black-owned, the symbol will be a black heart over an orange three-striped background. Business owners will have to confirm they own the business via mail, phone, or email before the badge is applied to their profile online. What remains unclear at this point is how Google will verify if you are actually Black. Back in 2018, Google started implementing similar badges for businesses to display if they are LGBTQ+ friendly.
Google has seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses, as consumers are looking for outlets to show support as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow bigger and more prominent. Google has also pledged to support Black Lives Matter by supplying $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities.
Yelp, which is probably Google’s biggest competitor for business listings, has already premiered its Black-owned icon and said in its most recent earnings report that searches for Black-owned businesses increased by 2.5 million over the course of May 25 to July 10 compared to years past.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai is happy about the progression but warns that there is much more to accomplish.
“Supporting worthy organizations is a step in the right direction, but it is not a replacement for doing the harder work ahead both within and outside of Google.”