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Google Business Profile in 2022: Changes and What to Expect

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

2021 was another busy year for Google when it comes to algorithm updates. We saw Core updates, updates to Snippets, page title updates and many others. Perhaps the most interesting and relevant updates for the funeral profession occurred in the last quarter.

Obituaries Appeared & Disappeared in 2021

On January 12, 2021, @need Marketing observed that some of the Google Business Profiles (formerly Google My Business) we manage for our partners included “Obituaries” in the mobile menu. When the user clicked on “Obituaries,” he or she would often see links that led back to the funeral home website. In a few situations, however, we noticed the top three links led back to a different obituary website.


Not long after the NFDA Expo in October, we were surprised to see those same Google Business profiles no longer displayed “Obituaries” in the menu. With all of the updates Google has made to Google Business Profiles, it is hard to imagine this functionality will be gone for long. As of December 2021, Google owns 93.86% of the US search market, and it does so by ensuring consumers find what they are searching for – on the first page, if possible. Google has invested significantly in Google Business Profiles to ensure users find business information without leaving Google.

Think about the last time you searched for a restaurant and went to the restaurant website. You can now call the restaurant, make reservations, see the menu, and even order delivery right from that restaurant’s Google Business Profile without ever leaving Google. It stands to reason Google would like to create that type of experience for consumers looking for any business, including the funeral profession. One would expect that in the spirit of creating a positive search experience, Google will eventually add “Obituaries” back to the menu and link or list individual obits under that menu.

Sneaky Local Search and Map Pack Update

On December 16, 2021, Google announced that the local search update was a “rebalancing of various factors we consider in generating local search results.” According to Joy Hawkins, “the most significant impact we saw was that Google made it so that smaller, less established businesses that are closer to the user are now ranking better than overpowered businesses further away.”


This means smaller funeral homes closer in proximity to the search will now perform better, and funeral homes that performed well at further distances will be affected. Given the tight service area of the typical funeral home, it will be interesting to see how much this really impacts funeral service.

In addition to the changes mentioned above, here are some interesting statistics to consider as we close out 2021:

Search engine market share (US)

  • Google 87.58%

  • Bing 6.32%

  • Yahoo 3.25%

  • DuckDuckGo 2.49%

  • Ecosia 0.1%

  • Yandex 0.1%

Search device market share (US)

  • 93.86% mobile search

  • 79.56% desktop search

  • 78.31% tablet

Desktop vs. Mobile vs. Tablet (US)

  • Mobile 48.65%

  • Desktop 48.039%

  • Tablet 3.32%

So, what does all this mean? It means that if someone has an at-need situation and they don’t have a personal relationship with a funeral director at the funeral home, they are likely to turn to Google. Your Google Business Profile and your website must be optimized to rank in the top one or two search results. If you haven’t done so already, claim your Google Business Profile and update it with the latest information. It could be the difference that gets you the call instead of the funeral home down the street.

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