Page Design

Google Has Monetized Google My Business

Big news on the local seo front has been made official by Google.  After testing paid subscription services for Google My Business back in April 2019, Google is making the rollout available to all.

As a business owner you can now join the Google Guaranteed certification for a monthly fee, outside of Google Local Services Ads. Your business listing will be positioned as an “upgraded profile” that will include a badge appearing on the listing which may also appear in the Local Pack results

The cost is $50 per month, subject to Google Guaranteed’s normal eligibility rules, which include background and licensing checks. The annual cost of the program would be $600, assuming business eligibility requirements are met.

Google Guarantee is only granted to businesses who use AdWords advertising and pass Google’s rigorous standards. Once qualified, your business will be advertised with the Official Google Guarantee Badge. Customers who are unsatisfied with your services for any reason may be reimbursed by Google with a $2000 lifetime cap.

How the Google Guarantee works

Google says when businesses pass the screening process, they become backed by the Google Guarantee. At that point, customers have reassurance similar to what they get from BBB accredited businesses. If customers aren’t happy with services booked through Google Local Services, they can submit a claim. Google contacts the business owner and conducts an investigation, then decides on a resolution.

What does Google Guarantee cover?

  • There are a very few businesses whose services are not up to the users satisfaction, for those type of cases Google provides a claim up to the invoice amount, with a lifetime cap coverage for the customers.

  • In some cases like damage to the property, dissatisfaction with price charged or provider responsiveness or cancellation by customer will not be covered under Google Guarantee.

  • Claims must be submitted within 30 days of the early service completion date.

What is the maximum coverage for Google Guarantee?

The customers can claim up to $2,000 in the US and $2,000 in Canada

What are the services listed under Google Guarantee?

Google has listed the service where guarantee can be provided in certain countries (the US and to other countries in the upcoming days).

  • Locksmiths
  • Plumbers
  • Garage Door
  • Electricians
  • HVAC
  • Air Duct Cleaner*
  • Appliance Repair Service*
  • Auto Glass Service*
  • Auto Service Technician*
  • Carpet Cleaner*
  • Event Planner*
  • Handyman*
  • Home Improvement Pro*
  • House Cleaner*
  • Junk Removal Provider*
  • Lawn Care Provider*
  • Mover*
  • Painter*
  • Pest Control Technician*
  • Pet Care Provider*
  • Pet Groomer*
  • Photographer*
  • Roadside Assistance Service*
  • Roofer*
  • Tree Service Provider*
  • Tutor*
  • Upholstery Cleaner*
  • Water Damage Service Provider*
  • Window Cleaner*
  • Window Service Provider*

*Not all services are supported in all markets.

Why should your Google Ads have a Google Guarantee Badge?

Google has rolled in the concept of Google Guarantee with the mission in rescuing customers from businesses who provide unworthy products and services. Google has also made this Google Guarantee visible by providing the guaranteed service providers with a badge below their ad title. This badge indicates that the particular service provider has been guaranteed by Google for offering high quality products and services.

The reason that lies behind gaining this badge is that potential customers are more likely to choose your services rather than clicking on to other Ads.

For instance, if a prospective customer has a problem with his drain being clogged and there arises a need for a reliable plumbing service, if your ads are being guaranteed by Google, the customer would select your services.

Will it really matter?

A trust badge signaling a business is “Google Guaranteed” could be a powerful influencing factor. Google already has a screening and qualification process, so businesses would be subject to eligibility rules, but if they do, standing out is only a matter of money.

Imagine the impact on click-through rates for two competitors if one has the Google Guarantee badge and the other does not. The badge stands out both on Profile and in Local Pack.

Google has long been on the lookout for ways to increase revenue from businesses who seldom or never use Ads. Presenting a paid option creates pressure – as businesses start losing customers to their Google Guaranteed competitor, they’ll have to choose between forking over their own $600/year or falling significantly behind on search.

Would you pay $50/month to get a "Google Guaranteed" badge on your GMB listing?

The new Google Guarantee program just made its debut on April 30, 2020. Yelp already offers trust badging to signal trust, but until now all GMB features have been free. One theory is Google will add more features for paying businesses over time.

So what about you? Would you pay for additional features on your business profile that could make your business stand out? What features would be worth paying for, and how much would you be willing to pay?

Let us know your thoughts.

We stay on top of breaking news when it comes to Google My Business. If your GMB profile isn’t optimized, that’s just part of what we offer in our Listing Management Program. Send us a message to learn more, and we’ll be in touch.

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By Judith Blakey

Judith is the Founder of the digital marketing agency Page Design, Los Angeles, CA.

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