Google will be introducing a Guaranteed Certification for a monthly fee of $50 to be added to a business’s Google My Business (GMB) profile. This cost will be outside of the Local Services Ads. This unique badge is positioned as an “upgrade profile” and it includes the Google badge appearing on your profile. In addition, this badge may also appear in the Local Pack. Whether this upgrade will be available to all GMB profiles is unknown at this time. 

Tom Waddington, Local Search Expert had tweeted:

Google starting to offer an upgraded Business Profile (Google My Business listing) for $50/month that will add the Google Guaranteed badge to the listing and back services the business provides with the Google Guarantee.”

Below you will see an example of what the Google Guaranteed Certification will look like on a GMB profile. It has been noted that this new upgraded profile will be promoted within the GMB dashboards.  

(Sterling, 2020)


Is it worth the upgrade? 

If your company has more than one GMB profile, you might be spending a lot of money per month to have a Google Guaranteed certification next to your business name. There is no word yet on bulk pricing for multi-location businesses or profiles.

In addition to paying $50 per month, a company is only allowed to have this certification if they are eligible as per the Google Guaranteed’s eligibility rule. This includes a licensing and background check, and if all goes well the annual cost of the program would be around $600. 

This new subscription was introduced in connection with the Local Services Ads, in the hopes that the advertised business would encourage greater consumer confidence. Previously, Google guaranteed local listings had appeared on Google Home voice search results from the Local Services ad and that the search results were based solely on organic relevancy. Now, the Google Guaranteed Certification is included as an evolving program in the Google Home/Assistant search results as it is used to certify local businesses.


Can the new Verification badge boost click-through-rate? 

There is currently no data as to whether the new verification badge will boost click-through rate (CTR). However, it can be speculated that by making use of the upgrade, there would be an increase in CTR. 

Below is a screenshot of the Guaranteed badge in a Local Pack, and as you can see the listing with the badge draws a lot more attention. 

(Sterling, 2020)


How Google Found A Market Opportunity

Google seems to always be like a million steps ahead of its competitors. Back in 2019, 

Google sent out a business owner survey. This survey consisted of a variety of question, including:

  • How to enhanced GMB services and profile upgrades 
  • Price range businesses might be willing to pay for such upgrades
  • Google Guaranteed Certification was among the options in the survey. 

It has been on Google’s roadmap to implement subscription fees, for new or enhanced services, as Google constantly looks for ways to enhance small businesses who are resistant to ads or businesses with a high churn rate on Ads. A churn rate is when a customer starts using a product/service then stops using it.

Historically, Google Adwords has a relatively high small and medium business (SMB) churn rate. The Google Guaranteed certification does this without excessively charging for the existing feature, as most SEO communities were afraid of. Google’s first experiment, CallJoy, was a subscription model that would answer and transcribe calls as a virtual agent for SMBs and was priced at $39 per month. 

According to a Google spokesperson:

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.”

Looks like this badge could be a hit or miss depending on how the market reacts to the new feature. 


Why do we care?

There is no guarantee of success by adding the Google Guaranteed Certification, however, competition may drive more businesses to upgrade their GMB profiles. 

If this program is successful, Google may add new features to the “upgraded profile” that offer additional incentives to participate which therefore get more businesses invested in this upgrade. 

The opportunity to reach a bigger market with this upgrade might be in the millions. If Google were to successfully upsell around two million businesses, it would represent $1.2 billion in annual revenue. This has the potential to drastically increase your revenue from local, so it is worth keeping an eye out on when Google Guaranteed Certifications launches globally. 

GMB has many features that your business can utilise. Read more about these here.

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