According to Mike Blumenthal he had gotten word from Google that there are tests being done called “advanced verification” in the San Diego region for the locksmiths and plumbers.
The reason that this is being aimed at these specific industries is because they tend to see a lot of spam in the Google Maps and local results. This advanced verification is currently being outsourced to a security risk management company that verifies employees and companies before users do transactions with them. This company is called Pinkerton.
The locksmiths and plumbers in the San Diego area is being asked by Google to go through this “advanced verification” process. The deadline for these businesses to respond is November 10th. If they pass the verification, they will hear back within a two week time span. If they don’t pass or respond to Google, the search engine will remove their listing.
Mike Blumenthal said:
The process is a lightweight version of the vetting that is done during the Home Services process that looks to verify the actual existence of the service area business but does not, like with Home Services, require a Pinkerton background check although it appears to include Pinkerton in the vetting.
Interestingly the process will also be applied to plumbers and locksmiths using AdWords. How that will impact national advertisers is not clear but it should help clean up an other mosh pit if the processes go national.
While this is a step in the right direction to cut back the spam in the the sleazy service area plumbing and locksmith businesses in San Diego it is but a first step. Hopefully the process will be expanded to other spammy verticals and markets.
Check out these help documents from Google on this new program: