Google Local Services
Google’s local search ads continue to evolve, with more emphasis on “badges” designed to “earn customers trust”. These badges are designed to give users “more confidence to book your services” states Google. The two badges are “Google Guaranteed” and “Google Screened”.
The advertisers that participate in these layers of trust are displayed next to a green, check-mark badge. This designation is quickly becoming the symbol of trust for Google users.
Trust would be built on what Google calls “Advanced Verification standards”. Google states: “In order to prevent fraudulent businesses from advertising on Google using false identities, Google Ads and Local Services advertisers in certain verticals will be required to complete Advanced Verification.”
The Google Guaranteed program now covers most Home Service categories, including appliance repair, carpenter, carpet cleaner, electrician, house cleaning, interior designer, landscaper, lawn care provider, mover, pest control technician, pet care provider, pet groomer, plumber, roofer, tree service provider, water damage, window cleaner, window service provider and flooring, foundations, countertop, HVAC, and siding pros. The green checkmark for Google Guaranteed providers signifies that Google has verified the business and backs the services booked.
Google states: “If you’re backed by the Google Guarantee, and your customers (that came to your business through Google) aren’t satisfied with work quality, Google may refund the amount paid for the service.”
The newer “Google Screened for Professional Services” program. This program is for lawyers, financial planners, real estate agents, photographers, event planners, and tax specialists. The Google Screened, somewhat similar to the Google Guarantee program, means that Google has verified the business’s background and backs their expertise.
Google states: All firms that have the Google Screened badge must pass a business-level background and a business-owner background check. Additionally, each professional in the business must pass a license check, and in some categories, a background check.
These checks ensure consumers that the professionals they work with have been thoroughly vetted and provide them added peace of mind as they work with you. You can find out more about the Google Screened badge here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9379692?hl=en
Who it Covers?
Only firms that provide professional services including Law, Financial Planning, and Real Estate are eligible for the Google Screened badge.
To qualify for the Google Guaranteed or Screened badge, the service pros undergo personal background checks and provide corporate documentation, proof of insurance, certifications, licenses, and other credentials, depending upon the industry. This process can take weeks, even months, as Google depends upon third parties throughout the application process.
Local Services Ads have been slowly starting to show at the top of Google search results for local search queries in key home services categories.
You can find out more about the Google Guaranteed program here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7549288?hl=en and can sign up to participate here: https://ads.google.com/localservices/signup/?hl=en&subid=us-en-et-hc-gls-a-adshc_inarticle_ep_zet