Google appears to be testing the idea of “upgrading” Google My Business profiles with a special “Google Guaranteed” badge for a $50 monthly fee.
Twitter user Tom Waddington shared a screenshot for a promotional page within the GMB dashboard offering the profile upgrade.
What Is Google Guaranteed?
The search engine has been playing with the “Google Guaranteed” badge since last year, though it has typically been used in Local Service Ads for home services businesses.
To be eligible for the badge, businesses must meet a number of criteria including certification, licensing, and background checks.
The idea appears to be to inspire more confidence in brands listed in Google’s local results by highlighting those who have been vetted.
Why Would Anyone Pay For This?
On its face, the idea of paying $50 a month for what amounts to a stamp of approval sounds a little silly. However, the badge comes with some backing which may help customers feel more at ease.
Along with the Google Guarantee badge, businesses which pass the screening process are also backed with a customer satisfaction guarantee. If a customer finds your business through the search engine and is not satisfied with the results, Google will refund the amount paid up to $2,000.
Along with this aspect, there is always the issue of getting ahead of your competition. Any little advantage can be the key to standing apart from your competitors.
Just an “Experiment” … For Now
When asked about the program via email, a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Journal:
“We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers, merchants, and users. This experiment will show the Google Guaranteed badge on the business profile. We don’t have anything additional to announce right now.”