Here’s a new wrinkle to Google search for local businesses. Advertisers on Google can now display a green checkmark, which Google will tag businesses with either “Google Screened” or “Google Guaranteed.”
It’s only available right now for certain categories of business, such as law, financial planning, and real estate for the Screened badge and service-oriented companies for the Google Guaranteed mark. To get the checkmark, businesses will have to go through background checks, provide proof of insurance and licenses, and other paperwork. To use the mark, you have to pay for the ads and be part of the search engine’s Local Service Ads program.
“…the real value of the badge is the access it provides to Local Services Ads (LSA). This is Google’s local trust pack. It is a cost-per-call advertising inventory unit that acts unlike anything we have ever encountered as marketers.”
For consumers, booking through the Google Guaranteed ad includes an offer to refund up to $2,000 if you aren’t satisfied with the service you’ve received.
Here’s how Google describes how the service works:
On Local Service listings, you will see the Google Screened icon next to these businesses.
How it works
All firms that have the Google Screened badge must pass a business-level background and a business-owner background check. Additionally, each professional in the business must pass a license check, and in some categories, a background check. See Requirements by category for details.
These checks ensure consumers that the professionals they work with have been thoroughly vetted and provide them added peace of mind as they work with you.
Who it covers
Only firms that provide professional services including Law, Financial Planning, and Real Estate are eligible for the Google Screened badge.
The Google Guarantee
The Google Guarantee badge is available for businesses that pass a Google screening and qualification process through Google Local Services.
If you’re backed by the Google Guarantee, and your customers (that came to your business through Google) aren’t satisfied with work quality, Google may refund the amount paid for the service. The following are the upper limits of lifetime coverage for claims:
What it Covers
United States: $2,000
Canada: CAD $2,000
The Google Guarantee covers claims up to the amount on the job invoice up to the lifetime cap for coverage.
Services must be booked through Google Local Services. The Google Guarantee doesn’t cover add-on or future projects, damages to property, dissatisfaction with price or provider responsiveness, or cancellations.
How it Works
If one of your customers submits a claim, we’ll contact you to learn more. You’ll have an opportunity to make things right with your customer. After investigating the claim, Google will decide on a resolution.
A Deeper Dive
Search Engine Land does a deeper dive into this and is worth the read if you’re interested.