Today Google has announced the latest update to the Google My Business API. The new release, version 4.5, is focused on real-time notifications in some new areas. Previously, API users could subscribe to real-time notifications when a new review was posted on a listing, when an older review was updated, or when a Google user uploaded a photo or video to one of your listings.
With today's release, API users can now subscribe to real-time notifications for Questions and Answers. When this feature is enabled, users will be notified when new questions are posted; when previously published questions are updated; when new answers are posted; and when previously published answers are updated.
The new notifications should make it much easier to keep track of Questions and Answers activity, especially for multi-location brands. Though Questions and Answers were added to the API last year, the lack of real-time notifications meant that API users still had to perform a periodic check for new content on every managed location. Now, users merely need to subscribe to Google's Pub/Sub notification system in order to be proactively notified when new or updated content appears.
Similarly, Google has added real-time notifications for changes to a listing's LocationState. Examples of LocationState status include isVerified, isSuspended, isDuplicate, hasPendingEdits, isGoogleUpdated, and so on. Essentially, LocationState indicates the current status of a listing and provides information on actions that may need to be taken in order to complete verification, manage duplicate listings, remove suspensions, and so on.
Particularly important is the status isGoogleUpdated, which indicates that pending edits not posted by the business may be present in the listing. With real-time notifications in place, it will now be somewhat simpler and more efficient to monitor listings for edits from the Google user community (or Google itself) that may be undesirable.
Today's update continues the trend of frequent updates over the nearly four-year history of the API. Version 4.5 is the second release this year, and follows version 4.4 in April which added support for verification of service-area businesses; allowed users to create user groups and location groups; and introduced the opening date feature to the API.