Google is testing out a new type of advertising for Adwords or pay-per-clicks for plumbers and locksmiths in San Francisco. Both of these industries are interesting because they are typically shady and deceitful online scams. Google wanted to stop these sketchy people online because they were using their Google Adwords to promote their business and get customers. Google noticed this was a massive issue because of all negative reviews.
Google's solution to this new home service problem is requiring licensing and background checks for the business and each of their team members. The minimum provider requirements can be found in the HSA Platform Policies at www.google.com/adwords/express/hsa/policies.html.
Google should have taken these steps for locksmiths and plummers a lot time ago but now they seem to have come up with a new and pretty good solution. This is just a test but if it works out well then it could make more businesses online credible and push out the criminals.
Third Party verification:
Google wants these businesses to go through a third party verification so it does not look like Google is favoring one business over another. This verification is important because it lays out a minimum requirement that all complains must comply with or they can not use Google Adwords. This will give small businesses a head ache in the beginning but if they cant figure out the simple requirements then they should not be online promoting their home services.
Google has never been good at dealing with customers issues and problems. They usually will push the problem off on the business and rely on crowd sourcing quality information and reviews to keep things fair. Amazon is one of the online companies that is great at dealing with customers issues and solving the problem right away. If that person selling the product is a scam they will ban them from the site and they will get the customers money back. No other company does it better then Amazon and they are the standard for customer satisfaction for online selling and buying.
Google clearly states "A customers satisfaction with your services is solely your responsibly. Google may provide assistance to customers who are dissatisfied with their experience on the HSA platform however ultimately it is up to you to resolve any disputes between you and your customers."
Maybe one day Google will have high customer service standards like Amazon does but as of now they don't really care.
Reviews and Quality Control:
As this Adwords style becomes more common, reviews and quality control are going to be important factors in this area. Customers will start seeing customers positive and negative reviews under their Adward so they can see if this person is credible or not. Also Google is adding a section which shows that companies Better Business Bureau rating. This also shows feed back of customer satisfaction and in the future their rating can rank them higher or lower on the advertising list.
Because reviews are becoming more and more important to Google they are going to make sure that all of these reviews are verified. Eventually, business cant buy positive reviews to get higher up and they also can spam another competitors reputation buy making fake profiles to write bad reviews. So if you are paying for reviews or have in the past, you should stop now. Google is going to make sure that spam and other paid reviews cant be posted without verification.
Pricing of the Adword:
It is not clear on whether Google is charging a fixed rate or a percentage of the job, lead based or some other pricing model.Google has said that their may be a fee to use the HSA platform. What we do know is that Google is giving up 3 of the highest paying ad spaces for this home service and it makes business more personal and accountable to their customers.
Google has also not explained how payments are going to work but the entire transaction will probably run through Google. "Google may make available to you various payment processing methods to facilitate the collection of fees for services provided via the HSA platform."
Google has dominated local search but we don't know how much money they have made from it or if it is profitable to them at all. We know that Google has spent billions of dollars on the mapping and local listing management but what have they seen in returns? We are now seeing small steps that Google is threatening the local space with adwords trying to make a profit off something they have mastered. The question is will it work or will people find other ways to search for home services.
Google is trying to take the market share away for Amazon, Angie's list, and HomeAdvisor.com. The question is will they succeed or with it fail like some of the other PPC ideas they have done in the past.