Google My Business Subscription Services: Get Google Guaranteed
Ah yes, the elusive Google My Business “Guaranteed” Badge. You may have seen this green badge with a check mark when searching for local services and wondered exactly what it is, whether or not it’s important, and how to get a Google guaranteed badge. And now Google is telling us there’s a whole new avenue to achieve this coveted green badge with Google My Business subscription services. This is great news if you’re interested in giving your local presence a boost.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with what might be your first question:
What is the Google My Business ‘Guaranteed’ Badge?
The Google Guarantee badge appears on businesses’ local listings and is seen as a symbol of trustworthiness. Before now, your business must be using Google’s local service ads (therefore it comes with a price) and you must pass a detailed background check, plus a complete license and insurance verification. Once you have qualified according to Google’s rigorous standards, your business will be advertised with the Official Google Guarantee Badge. In addition to helping your business stand out and building your reputation, one of the unique perks of being guaranteed is that Google will help cover and reimburse dissatisfied customers, with a $2,000 lifetime cap.
Introducing GMB ‘upgrades’ for $50 a month
Since it started as an extension of Google Local Service Ads, the Google Guarantee has evolved into it’s own distinct program used to help improve Google Home/Assistant results. Essentially, the Google My Business subscription takes out the Local Service Ads requirement, however, the background checks and verification standards will still be mandatory. Therefore, this would be a good solution for small businesses that aren’t interested in running Google Ads and instead are more focused on enhancing their local SEO. Instead of the Guaranteed badge showing in an ad as it does with Local Services Ads, it would appear within your GMB local pack listings like this:
What’s next for Google My Business?
It has long been speculated that Google will monetize their Google My Business offering, so this step doesn’t come as a big surprise. A Google spokesperson provided the following comment in an email: “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers, merchants, and users. This experiment will show the Google Guaranteed badge on the business profile. We don’t have anything additional to announce right now.”
This is the first step Google has taken towards a subscription-based local listing platform, similar to something like Yelp. This latest feature could lead to additional subscriptions “tiers”, so to speak, with added benefits and features to boost local SEO. It could also become an a la carte service offering where users can pick and choose which additions/enhancements they decide to invest in (this is what Yelp does).
With anything, time will tell whether or not this will bring value to small businesses, especially if the number of Google Guaranteed listings increase and therefore becomes common practice. Fortunately for Google, there is a vast market of small businesses (in the millions), and huge opportunity to make this program incredibly profitable.
Interested in growing your local digital presence? Give us a shout!