In a new development Google Guarantee badges started to appear in Google Maps listings. It was spotted late last month and it’s clear by now that the feature is only being tested. The exact rules are uncertain as the results can’t consistently be reproduced.
It’s purely speculative at this stage, whether being featured in Google Maps Listings will be linked to the Google Guaranteed status for good. Still, this development shouldn’t be overlooked. Even by putting this feature in place just as an experiment, Google indicates that it will keep working on functionalities related to the Google Guarantee badge.
Is it beneficial for your business to get this badge? What does it mean for businesses and what could it mean in the future? Let’s dive into what it’s really all about.
What Is a Google Guarantee Badge?
Chances are that you’ve seen the Google Guarantee badge before. It’s a green badge with a white tick to suggest trustworthiness of a local business. In fact, it’s been appearing in Local Services Ads (LSA) for a good few years to help Google users find legitimate businesses.
In summer this year, however, Google started offering upgrading Google My Business profiles with a Google Guarantee badge. The badge for the upgraded services appears on the profile, with the possibility of it showing within the Local Pack. This was introduced as a paid service.
The cost of such an upgrade is 50 USD per month but the participation in the program is subject to eligibility rules. Apart from the badge itself a business receives a kind of insurance against clients who could be unhappy with their services.
If a client of a business complains, Google pledges to pay back the cost of the service up to a lifetime limit. The final decision about the reimbursement for the claim is up to Google.
This development naturally sparked a lot of speculation in the industry a few months back. Many SEOs feared that GMB pages would become a paid service altogether. At the same time, Google made it very clear that the feature was only being tested.
Should My Business Get the Google Guarantee Badge?
For now, the Google Guarantee feature is reserved for home services. Even if you’re an owner of a business providing home service, you should check your eligibility as the exact rules are location dependent. Last time we checked, the participation was limited to the US and Canada. If you’re an owner of a business operating in a different industry, Google Screened may be an alternative worth considering.
The Google Guarantee badge adds credibility to a business. It can be a powerful tool along with Local Services Ads, which allow you to advertise in response to searches in the area where you operate. The advantage of this solution is that a business gets featured above the normal Google Ads, even though the format is limited to the very basics.
As the marketing specialist Neil Patel points out, however, it needs to be weighed out whether the program is worth it for you. The application takes a while, the process isn’t quick and maintaining your position will take some effort. Then again, once the verification process is completed you don’t have to worry about it, as you would when conducting a long-term Google Ads campaign.
Google Guarantee Badge and Google Map
Last month it was picked up that the badge started to appear in Google Maps listings outside the pack. As the results of searches testing this feature seem to be inconsistent, it’s clear that it’s just another experiment.
From the point of view of businesses, it seems like a great idea. One can assume that a Guaranteed badge featured in organic search may tempt a person to choose this service over another. This, in return, could result in higher click-through-rates (CTRs). From Google’s perspective, this could encourage more eligible businesses to invest in the Guaranteed badge.
There’s nothing to say that the feature won’t disappear as fast as it was picked up. Much is uncertain, seeing that it’s clearly only being tested. It seems advisable to keep an eye out on, though.
The previous development allowing eligible businesses to pay for an upgrade and get the badge took place only a few months ago. It may be an indicator suggesting that Google is working on this particular product.
As you see, it’s not easy to keep up with the ever-changing world of digital marketing. If all you know is that you want your business to perform online well, it may be the right time to partner with professionals. Digital Assembly specialises in helping businesses grow with our first class SEO and Google Ads services. Contact us today and let’s discuss how to maximise your business’s online performance!