There was a new program that Google created a couple years ago that was a lot like the Yelp Elite Squad called City Experts, and was intended to accelerate the acquisition of “high-quality” local business reviews. The name of this program was changed to Local Guides in January of this year.
Originally, the program offered rewards based on the number of reviews submitted. As an example, after 50 reviews, members were able to be a part of a Google+ community, as well as be invited to exclusive local events, and more. Reviews were the key to meeting quality guidelines.
Because Google is moving away from Google+, as well as renaming the program, Google has revamped its incentives.
Here are the levels and new point system:
- Level 1 (0-4 points): Enter exclusive contests (think new Google devices!) in select countries.
- Level 2 (5-49) points): Get early access to new Google products and features.
- Level 3 (50-199 points): Show up in the Google Maps app with your official Local Guides badge.
- Level 4 (200-499 points): Receive a free 1 TB upgrade of your Drive storage, allowing you to keep all the stories, photos, and videos from your travels in one safe place.
- Level 5 (500+ points): The very top Local Guides will become eligible to apply to attend our inaugural summit in 2016, where you’ll be able to meet other top Guides from around the world, explore the Google campus, and get the latest info about Google Maps. Look out for details early next year.
As you can see from the list above, the reward system is based on points that can be earned in many different ways, and not by just contributing reviews. Google sad in a blog post,
“You can earn points and level up by writing reviews, uploading photos, adding new places, fixing outdated information, and answering simple questions. Each contribution type is worth one point, so you can earn up to five points per place.”