Google appears to be testing the water when it comes to consumer reaction to its ‘Google Guaranteed’ green badge in places other than just Local Services Ads (LSAs). The media giant has been promoting its two ‘certificates of trust’ – ‘Google Guaranteed’ for home services, and its latter screening programme for professional services, such as law, finance, planning, and property, known as ‘Google Screened’ in its LSA’s recently. However, now it is also making the ‘Google Guaranteed’ badge available to businesses for a flat rate monthly fee as an annual subscription service.
The monthly fees are billed as an upgraded profile opportunity and certainly will be of interest to businesses. The costs for ‘Google Guaranteed’ look to be around $50 per month, subject to the eligibility checks, which include business background checks.
The flat rate, affordable costs will be appealing to SMBs, rather than the potential unknown costs of LSA’s, which some businesses are wary of. The badge will be seen on the local business profile and in the local pack. Google has labelled the programme an experiment, which may continue depending on the uptake. Although a rise in a company’s Google rankings with the badge is not guaranteed, it is something that will be watched.
The ‘Google Guaranteed’ badge was designed to boost consumer confidence in local service providers appearing in LSA’s. The badge helps protect the consumer if they book services from an eligible business using the click to call option, send request option, or dialling the number that appears in the listing. If the consumer is not satisfied with the service they receive, Google may be able to reimburse the cost of the initial service. Be warned though, if the consumer contacts the business in any other fashion, such as another phone number or the company’s website directly, they are not entitled to the ‘Google Guarantee’.
‘Google Screened’ works in a similar way, where companies who feature the badge must pass stringent checks. These include a business background check, business owner check, and license checks. The consumer knows they have been fully vetted, which can provide peace of mind whilst working with them, however, reimbursement is not involved in ‘Google Screened’ yet.
Whilst there is no guarantee of a successful rollout for Google, competition may drive people to adopt the ‘Google Guaranteed’ upgrade. If one business sees their competitor has the badge this will increase interest. Likewise, if a consumer sees the badge, they may be more inclined to choose them. Only time will tell how much of a success this service will be, but it is certainly something to watch!