Google Guaranteed Badge: It Pays to Play for a Google Guarantee

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Have you recently searched for a local service such as a contractor, lawyer, or a mover,  and noticed the top search results were highlighted in green as “Google Verified”? Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, and Yelp have been verifying profiles for awhile now, but now it’s Google’s turn with their Google My Business Upgrade, called Google Guaranteed.

What is a Google Guaranteed Badge?

Google launched the new Google Guaranteed consumer protection program in early 2020, starting with local service companies only. This program allows certain local services to apply for the verification badge after going through a background check, license and insurance detail check, as well as paying a fee of $50/month. 

Here is the full list of eligible businesses:

  • Appliance repair services
  • Architecture services
  • Bankruptcy law services
  • Business law services
  • Carpenter services
  • Carpet cleaning services
  • Cleaning services
  • Contract law services
  • Countertop services
  • Criminal law services
  • Disability law services
  • Dui law services
  • Electricians
  • Event planning services
  • Estate lawyer services
  • Family law services
  • Fencing services
  • Junk removal services
  • Financial planning services
  • Flooring services
  • Foundations services
  • Garage door services
  • HVAC (heating or air conditioning)
  • Immigration lawyer services
  • Interior design services
  • IP law services
  • Labor law services
  • Landscaping services
  • Lawn care services
  • Litigation law services
  • Locksmiths
  • Malpractice law services
  • Movers, pest control services
  • Personal injury law services
  • Photography services
  • Plumbers
  • Real estate law services
  • Real estate services
  • Roofers
  • Siding services
  • Tax law services
  • Tax services
  • Traffic law services
  • Tree services
  • Videography services
  • Water damage services
  • Window cleaning services
  • Window repair services

Yes, this is a similar program to Yelp’s previous Verified License badge program, which was about $30/month for businesses who wanted to apply for a verification program and show their license and information to be backed by Yelp as a legitimate business. 

One important thing to note is that while Google My Business is currently testing this program, paid-for-profiles are not yet confirmed. Google tests their innovations quite often, and not all features make it through to formal launch.

Changing the Local Search Game

Twitter was the first to spread the news about this beta feature. Tom Waddington, a Google My Business Product Expert, tweeted about the update that Google will start offering a new “upgraded” Business Profile in July.

After a week, his tweet sent us search nerds into overdrive. This was a game changer. Not only does this new verification process enable businesses to increase visibility and traffic by paying for a permanent top spot, it provides consumers the reassurance that the company they plan to hire has been background checked by Google. In addition, Google is offering unhappy customers who used a verified business a refund for their service (with limits of $2,000). If that doesn’t reassure you, we don’t know what will!

Neighborhood Business Test

We did a test of this Google Guarantee Badge process by searching for a local moving company in the St. Petersburg area. Right at the top of the search page were three options. 

We decided to look into MUV Movers,  a local moving company with a 4.9 star rating, 107 reviews, and a Google protection clause stating, “Get the job done right or Google pays you back.” Next time our company goes through a move, we’ve added this credible neighbor to the top of our list of service-based contacts!

Google Guaranteed Badge Use-Case

Why should every type of business care about this new Google policy? While it’s specific to the service industry right now, we expect that Google will expand this pay-to-play opportunity as a way to monetize local businesses and search traffic. 

For some businesses who are currently struggling with SEO or are in an industry with a lot of local competition, having this Google verification may turn out to be a smart investment to gain more traffic and revenue. 

Digital Neighbor is committed to staying up-to-date on the expansion of this Google Guaranteed program and will provide the resources necessary for our clients to navigate it successfully. Send us a note and we’d love to grab coffee with you at a local shop to talk more! 

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