Google Launches Home Service Ads
An Easier Way to Connect with Qualified Home Service Professionals in Your Area
Move over Yelp. Google is making it easier than ever to find certified home service professionals with their new advertising product -- Home Service Ads. Home Service Ads are paid search listings shown above the organic results, meant to make booking a professional easy, while also bringing peace of mind.
In order to qualify, Google requires the home service professionals to undergo multiple screenings, including a background check, license checks, interviews, online reputation checks, and mystery shopping. This shows that Google wants users to be comfortable with the service that they choose, but it also gives the search giant confidence when they recommend a service. A beta test for these new paid search listings launched in the San Francisco market for plumber and locksmith services. The beta is currently only available for desktops.
What Do The Ads Look Like?
Based on a user's search query, Google will display three listings for certified professionals at the top of the search results page if it thinks a user is trying to find a provider. You can click on a listing to show a page similar to Google's local listing results page. It showcases a brief description, hours, phone number, and new information - like the background check and license information. If you click an individual's profile, you can contact them directly or use the 'Send Request' button.
You can also expand the results to view a total of seven providers, and you have the option of sending a request to up to three of them.
Once a user submits a request, Google sends the information to the desired professionals. If a request is denied or unanswered after one business day, Google will email you to let you know, and will also include any notes from the professional as to why. Once a job is finished, Google will send an email to rate and review the business. Reviews can only be submitted by users who contacted and hired a professional through the Google home service ads. Google states that this is to confirm the legitimacy of the reviews and ensure that they 'remain helpful.'
How Do They Differ From Traditional Google Ads?
The new ad listings differ from traditional ads in the following ways:
- They allow you to contact up to three qualified home service professionals directly from the search results page, saving time and hassle. This is especially helpful if someone has a home service emergency.
- Detailed information about the service provider is included in a profile directly on the results page. Traditional ads click through to websites, which means the user will have to spend additional time finding and comparing multiple providers.
- All professionals appearing in home service ads go through a screening process, by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations, Inc., a third-party risk management and security company. You can learn more here.
- They cannot pay to be ranked higher within the ad unit. It is still unclear exactly how each professional is ranked or how the ad auction works, however Google aims to have more details to share later this summer.
So What Does This Mean?
Home service ads are quite a game changer. If the ads prove to be successful and move into other service areas and cities, it could be very necessary for local businesses and professionals to advertise in this space. These new ads will also, of course, have an impact on public companies like Yelp, whose organic visibility will suffer from the added home services ad unit. Our team will keep you posted.
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