Google introduced a new badge that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s Maps and Search listings. The new feature, which was announced Thursday, comes as more consumers are searching for black businesses in recent months.
U.S.-based companies with a verified Business Profile on Google can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, which will make it easier for customers to identify and support them. Those businesses will be marked with a black heart over an orange three-striped background (as seen below). To apply for the badge, black entrepreneurs must verify their company by mail, phone, or email.
“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community,” wrote Jewel Burks Solomon, the Head of Google for Startups, in a blog post. “With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” she added.
Google partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) to help spread the word about the new badges. Together, Google and USBC will also provide Black business owners with training to maximize their online presence on Google through the use of Google My Business and Google Analytics.
According to The Verge, Yelp, a popular online service that provides crowd-sourced reviews and business listings, also reported an increase in Black-owned business searches on its site. It received more than 2.5 million searches for those businesses from May 25 to July 10.
Google also introduced badges for “Women-Led” businesses and LGBTQ-friendly businesses back in 2018.
In wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to dismantle systemic racism, Google committed $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities in June.
Earlier this year, the tech giant appointed Solomon as its first Head of Google For Startups to focus on empowering diverse startup founders with products, connections, and best practices. Prior to her appointment, the Howard University alum worked at Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence for diversity markets from 2014 to 2016 where she helped underserved business owners grow their businesses online using Google tools.