At OMG National, a big part of our mission is focused on empowering small business owners with the information they need to make decisions about their marketing. In doing so, we spend a huge amount of time focused on Google and the myriad of tools they provide for their flagship property for small businesses, Google My Business (GMB).
Most recently, we’ve been laser focused on the addition of a new ad product which Google has rolled out and which is linked to GMB. These are called Local Services Ads. These ads which are presented in search at the very top of the page, above the maps, represent the beginning of a sea change in the way that Google does business.
No longer is it simply about position and rank, these ads are part of a larger move into what we call Google’s Trust Layer.
In Google’s infinite quest to remain both a verb, as in “let’s Google that” and a noun, as in “I found it on Google”, the braintrust in Mountain View, dove headlong into this new initiative. Local Services Ads are not only a new way to present ads to the public, they represent Google’s attempt at providing quality and trust.
Need to use a plumber to install a new hot water heater? You would naturally want someone you trust. You want a fair price, quality workmanship, and most importantly, safety for your family with a stranger entering your home. Google’s Local Services Ads, with their Google Guarantee and now Google Screened (for professional services) provides all that.
This guarantee is presented graphically with a green badge of trust, and means that this provider has been vetted with background check and all necessary licensure and insurance.
The Google Guaranteed badge originally was contained only within the Local Services Ads (LSA) platform.
In our continual effort to lead the way with Local Services Ads and all things Google, the product team at OMG began seeing something new. The badge of trust has begun appearing on its own, within the Google My Business listing, without the Local Services Ads (see graphic below).
This GMB upgraded profile is now available in select industries and geographic markets, enabling companies to add the badge of trust, without the accompanying Local Services Ads. It is available for a $50 per month fee and as it continues to roll out, will represent a huge shift in the impact that search results will have on consumers.
Why would you want a home service provider or any other provider for that matter, that wasn’t “trusted” when you could have one that was?
This new feature is rolling out slowly, 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 one of those selected for the early rollout)
OMG has been following these developments closely. Chief Revenue Officer, Justin Sanger wrote about this in Search Engine Land in October of 2020.
This most recent shift and others indicate Google’s willingness to take Trust, and thrust it into the search results. This move will ultimately enhance the search results with the highest quality companies presented at the top of the heap. Whether or not it is fair for Google to be the arbiter of which companies are “high quality”, is up for debate and will ultimately be settled in court, years down the line. In the meantime, back here on the streets of your town, lies opportunity, opportunity to play by Google’s rules and to gain the advantage afforded to first-movers.
Check out the line up of GMB-enabled products developed by OMG National. We’ll help you harness the power of GMB and ride it across the finish line.