Here at OMG, we love to keep our readers abreast of what’s going on in Google’s ecosystem. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the Google Guaranteed badge and where it’s been spotted recently.
First, it’s important to establish some context and a timeline: the Google Guarantee badge has historically been associated with the Local Services Ads (LSA) platform.
The Google Guaranteed badge originally was contained only within the Local Services Ads (LSA) platform.
Timeline & Nuances
Google changed the Game in July of 2020 when they began two separate approaches to making the badge extensible by means of porting it over to Google My Business (GMB).
- Beginning July 2020, Google began an experiment. This entailed displaying the Google Guaranteed badge on the GMB listings of select LSA providers. Quite simply, this meant that if you were on LSA, the badge could show on your GMB listing, and free of charge. Observation indicates that this experiment was very likely low volume, as not many people noticed this. We did 🙂
- Also Beginning in July 2020, Google also rolled out the GMB Upgraded Profile, which offers select non-LSA Home Services Pros the opportunity to upgrade to a trusted and badged-up GMB profile for a $50 monthly fee. This is still running as a beta open to a limited group of businesses chosen by Google. (Take a moment to check your GMB Dashboard on a desktop to see if your GMB was chosen). OMG’s Justin Sanger wrote about this in Search Engine Land in October of 2020.
How to Distinguish Between the Experiment & The Upgraded GMB Profile
The preceding screenshots display The badge-transfer experiment first and the paid-GMB profile upgrade second. Note that they look practically identical but we can observe a few important details to help us tell them apart:
- The badge-transfer experiment displays the business line, not the tracking number always shown on the upgraded profiles. This can be verified by means of checking the business website. Conversely, the paid upgrade displays a Google tracking number, not the business line.
- The badge-transfer experiment does not display the Google Guarantee badge immediately on the SERP. One has to click into the map in order to see the badge. Conversely, the paid upgrade displays the badge on the SERP & after clicking into the map.
- The badge-transfer experiment means that the business has a Local Services Ads account. Try searching for them within Google Guaranteed results to confirm.
What it All Means & Why You Should Care
At the end of the day, keeping tabs on this badge tango is important on a few levels. First and foremost, if you haven’t accessed your GMB dashboard in a while, log in on a desktop now to see if your business was chosen for the upgraded GMB profile beta. Taking advantage of the implicit trust signal, the call recordings, and the access to immediate Google support are all solid reasons to consider the upgrade if your business was given the option.
Moreover, this shift in all forms supports Justin Sanger’s powerful statements regarding Google’s strategy for local; “There will be two types of Places in Google – trusted and untrusted. “ It’s no secret that Google has been exploring additional ways to monetize local for some time now. The badge moving to GMB increases Google’s revenue while also simultaneously giving consumers better markers to consider in their decision making; It’s a classic win-win. Businesses trying to better understand Google’s ecosystem would be well-advised to watch closely when big events such as this one take place.