Local businesses can show offers of help for refugees via Google Business Profile

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 21 Mar, 2022
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Accommodation and other emergency aid can be indicated via Google Business Profile. Plus, search engines show new search results features for Ukraine.

Ukraine flag.

With the continuing crisis in Ukraine, humanitarian aid is critical for the large numbers of refugees fleeing the conflict.

New attributes in Google Business Profile provide an easy way for hotels and businesses in countries near Ukraine to indicate what direct assistance they are able to offer.

Two new attributes for hotels mean hoteliers in the region can show free or significantly discounted accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.

Businesses can indicate the various services they are able to offer through posts on Google Business Profile.  Google lists the following examples:

  • Any products or services that are currently offered for free. This may include legal assistance, counseling, food, medications, etc.
  • Serving as collection and/or distribution center for humanitarian aid or other essential items (including clothes distribution).
  • Transportation
  • Offer employment
  • Temporary and longer term accommodations
  • Volunteer opportunities

The updates will be shown on Google Search and Maps and Google says: “As we compile this information over the coming weeks, we'll make it possible for people to quickly find these places on Search and Maps.”

Ukraine-Russia search results

Both Google and Bing have curated their search results pages and introduced new search features to show context and to try and ensure reliable, verified information.

Google’s results page for the query “russian invasion of ukraine” has several new features including a title for the page. The whole right of the page is devoted to additional and contextual information including

  • An Estimated losses section showing deaths, displacements, and damage
  • A clickable image gallery
  • An About section linking to Wikipedia's entry for the Russian invasion
  • People also search for shows related information such as the war in Donbas

Further background information is available via the "People also ask" section, while “Mentioned in the news” links to individual players deemed key or (in the case of Elon Musk) newsworthy in the Ukrainian context.

Google search.

More relevant information is provided with a section lower down called "For context".

Google For Context.

Bing’s results page for the query ”ukraine russia” has a comprehensive timeline on the right of the page.

Bing results.

The timeline stretches back as far as Ukrainian independence in August 1991.

The information war is a factor in any conflict and reliable information is critical. Changes to the results pages showing reliable news and context are a positive response to the heightened demand for information about this important topic.

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