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Google Announces Upgraded Google My Business Profiles in the Future

Posted: in Pulse on the Industry

Google is starting to offer Google Guaranteed certification for a monthly fee, outside of Local Services Ads. It’s positioned as an “upgraded profile” that will include a badge appearing on the profile and which may also appear in the Local Pack.

Cost is $50 per month. The cost is $50 per month, subject to Google Guaranteed’s normal eligibility rules, which include background and licensing checks. The annual cost of the program would be $600, assuming eligibility requirements are met.

History of "Google Guaranteed"

Google Guaranteed was introduced in connection with Local Services Ads to instill greater consumer confidence in the advertised businesses. However, it has also evolved into a distinct program used to certify local businesses for inclusion in Google Home/Assistant search results.

Google Guaranteed has been historically used in the home services category. Last year, Google introduced a similar program for professional services called Google Screened. Assume Screened is next if Google decides to roll out upgraded profiles to professional services categories.

In April 2019 Google sent out a small business owner survey, that also went to digital agencies. Among other things, it asked about enhanced GMB services and profile upgrades and how much businesses might be willing to pay for them. Verified profiles and Google Guaranteed certification were among the options in the survey.

Why it Matters

GMB SPAM: One part of the SEO service provided by HLM is to combat GMB spam - fraudulent actors will create multiple GMBs to gather more real estate in the GMB space even if they do not have actual business locations in the places they claim to have them. 

GMB spam has been running rampant in 2020: some of our clients have half a dozen new "competitors" pop up per month, even with old ones being taken down.

Because of the new stringent guidelines around Google Guaranteed GMBs, those fraudulent actors cannot verify their listings. In essence, this will significantly reduce the ability to spam GMB.

PERFORMANCE: There’s no public data on any CTR or engagement lift from the presence of a Google Guaranteed badge, but I would speculate that such profiles do and would see higher click-throughs. Below is another screenshot from Tom Waddington showing the Guaranteed badge in a Local Pack. The listing with the badge calls more attention to itself.

As always, High Level Marketing will continue to monitor the situation and keep you up to date on new products in the search space. If you have questions about your Google My Business, drop us a line or contact us on Facebook

Michael Cipielewski
Director of Digital Marketing

Michael Cipielewski is the Director of Marketing at HLM, an avid reader, Podcast enthusiast, geek dad, and rescuer of Pomeranians.

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