Google Guaranteed (The Good, Bad & Ugly)
Google Launches Google Guaranteed for Locksmiths, Plumbers, and Handymen… What we found was interesting!
Here is the link to sign up for Google Guaranteed: https://ads.google.com/localservices/signup
Well, on a daily search for a current client in the contractor world, we stumbled upon something pretty interesting; Google Guaranteed.
It looks like “Google Guaranteed” is rolling out a plan for guaranteeing work provided by locksmiths, plumbers, and handymen. This is to protect homeowners against locksmiths, plumbers, and handymen who are not licensed, bonded and screened.
Also, Google is making a step in increasing its measures on security against fraud and online scams.
What does it look like?
The Search Engine Journal wrote an article about this a while ago, stating;
Google is fighting back against fraud with an advanced verification process for handymen, plumbers, and locksmiths.
Locksmiths, plumbers, and handymen who are not licensed, bonded and screened are going to have a hard time going through this process to get a listing on Google My Business.
Showing Proof of License, Bond or Insurance will be Mandatory
If they do manage to get a listing or already have a listing on Google My Business, they will need to show proof that they are “Google Guaranteed” by uploading documents showing that they are licensed, bonded and screened.
Failure to prove that their company is licensed, bonded and screened will result in Google My Business removing their Google My Business page (YIKES). That will end up being hundreds of locksmith who will be in need of some serious recovery services.
How to Get Google Guaranteed?
- Create Your Listing on Google My Business
- Navigate to “Local Service Ads” of Google
- Enter in your NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
- Select and Set your Hours
- Select and Set your Cities
- Select and Set your Services
- Enter License Number
- Request reviews from clients
- Background Check
- Also background checks for all employees who enter customers home
- Upload insurance/bond/etc.
- Enter Billing
- Publish your local service ad
Keep in mind, we had to bold out “Enter Your License Number”
After you have rolled through all the steps to complete your submission, you then need to complete advanced verification by finishing your application with a separate third-party website. This is all so new in the world of Google.
- Finish your application with Google’s trusted partners at Pinkerton: pinkerton.com
Here is the crazy part: Your application is going to take an additional two-four weeks to process and verify, that is if they are all caught up and on time. From Google directly; Complete your application with Pinkerton (this usually takes about 30 minutes). After you have finished your application, you will be notified within that two-week period if your application has been successful or denied. If you do not hear back of if you have any questions, you can email Google support directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Google Guaranteed affect more than Locksmiths and Plumbers?
This is the whole reason why we wrote this post in the first place.
We can see where you are heading with this one, Google.
Not that this is a bad thing for the homeowners and people looking to do business on a local level, but it definitely makes the local SEO companies jump through a couple more hoops to get set-up.
Any Inbound Marketing company is going to have to get familiar with this process to better understand how Google is now working with these industries.
Will Google Guaranteed Spread to More Industries?
This is a huge deal, not just for Locksmiths, plumbers, and handyman business models.
We can see the Google Guaranteed trend and the process to get Google Guaranteed spreading to any service that needs a license, bond, and insurance plan to do business. Google Guaranteed might have an effect on many industries: landscapers, kitchen builders, general contractors, flooring installers, arborist’s, carpet cleaners and basically any other service that has to be either “Certified” or “Licensed” in their field of expertise.
Why did Google Launch Google Guaranteed? — Locksmith Scams
So how does the locksmith scam work?
- You get locked out
- You call a locksmith
- The call is re-routed to an off-shore call center
- They sell the lead to a shady locksmith
- Shady locksmith shows up
- Shady locksmith drills your lock instead of picking it (or looking for alternate method)
- You get slapped with a big locksmith bill
The same scenario can be applied to almost any industry: plumbing, handyman, landscapers, contractors, etc. Most of whom are not licensed and just want to make an overly paid quick buck without providing any level of Quality Assurance.
Literally, Google will “Guarantee” the Work
Pros that are pre-screened and insured is the goal that Google is going for here.
Google guarantees the job will be done right or your money back. Learn More Here
How The Google Guarantee Works
To reap the benefits from Google Guarantee, there are two steps:
- Step 1: Activate the Google Guarantee by filling out a form on the link provided above. Once you enter in a few details about the job and the company name.
- Step 2: Submit a claim about the company if issues do arise. You can also CALL GOOGLE DIRECTLY at (844) 885-0761 to submit a claim (This is a new one as well). The Google claim team will investigate the company and claim against the company to determine if your claim is valid or not. The team investigates and decides on a resolution.
What the Google Guarantee Covers
If you are dissatisfied with work quality, we’ll cover claims up to the job invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000.
The Catch: The job must be booked through the home services section of Google. Any additional payments to the contractor, locksmith, plumber or handyman will not be covered. Jobs completed before September 14, 2016, are not covered. Google just wants homeowners to be protected against fraud, which is understandable. You can also read the Google Guarantee FAQ section here.
How Does Google Guaranteed Look in the Future?
This is why we wrote this whole post. The future of Google Guaranteed is a little grey right now. No one has a true grasp on what Google Guaranteed can mean for local SEO companies or even every local service industry that needs a license number to operate. Google Guaranteed in the future may apply to every service industry on a local level.
This would include landscapers, kitchen builders, general contractors, flooring installers, arborist’s, carpet cleaners and basically any other service that has to be either “Certified” or “Licensed” in their field of expertise.
Again, this is not a bad thing. It is just a very interesting shift in Google’s positioning towards security with SSL’s and preventing scam and fraud on the internet.
What we thought was crazy about Google Guaranteed
After doing a search for “Outdoor Kitchen Builder Sacramento” and “Outdoor Kitchens Sacramento” on a mobile device, our client is still number one organically; however, dropped off the map. This was interesting because the map listing had been replaced with—you guessed it—HANDYMAN listings. NOOOOO, Google. No.
In what world does a homeowner want a handyman to show up and build them a $100,000 outdoor kitchen. In no world, that’s where.
We understand Google is still testing this new feature and we are sure that they will eventually fix this mistake.
Until then, it is going to be interesting to see what results they will display for home builders, contractors, remodelers and other higher priced items through Google Guaranteed.
Is Google testing other industries with new Google Guaranteed listings just to spread the word?
Note: We are not affiliated with Google. Front Street Media is a front-end web design team located in El Dorado Hills, CA.
Interested in Google Guaranteed for your company? Give us a call to discuss how we can help your business rank higher with Google Guaranteed.
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