Google is going to shake things up with their new “Home Services Pack”
While currently, business verification helps set businesses utilizing Google’s powerful My Business platform apart from their competition, Google is working on implementing a new level of verification that is going to shake the game up pretty significantly.
How do things currently work?
Currently, businesses simply have to verify their address or phone number depending on the options that Google chooses to provide in order to verify their My Business listing. Once the listing is verified, business owners can add images, content, service area optimizations, and a vast array of other content in order to set their listing apart from their competition’s listings. An emphasis on reviews is then placed, because Google takes into consideration all of the optimizations made to the listing as well as the amount and frequency of positive reviews when determining the business’ placement in the currently utilized “Local Pack.” The Local Pack appears when an individual searches for a product or service on Google, and it becomes populated with businesses either nearby or in the designated area that the searcher specified.
How are things going to change?
In specific areas, Google is testing an advanced verification system that will allow businesses to appear in a pack situated above the local search pack in search results. This advanced verification is actually being outsourced to a third-party company named Pinkerton. Pinkerton is a security risk management company that verifies employees and companies before you do transactions with them.
Google is actually asking that, at least in San Diego, plumbers and locksmiths adhere to this new advanced verification system or their Google listing will be removed. This is due to a high number of spam listings in the Local Pack in that region, so Google is relying on the Advanced Verification system to weed out the spammers.
What should you do?
It is unclear at the moment what implications this will mean for small businesses around the country. Google is definitely make a shift towards emphasis on the advanced verification system, however it is unclear if refusing to adhere to the new system will penalize business owners in a similar way as it has in San Diego.
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