A few years ago, Google Guaranteed was introduced in order to help boost consumer confidence in-home services providers appearing in local Services Ads. This year, the company introduced another program for professional services, called “Google Screened.”

Currently, Google Screened is a test program that is limited to only a few verticals in a few markets: lawyers (estate planning, immigration), financial planners and realtors in San Diego and Houston.

In order to be eligible for Google Screened, businesses have to possess a star ratting on Google of 3.0 or greater. There isn’t an application fee for Local Services advertisers (in the relevant categories and markets). If Google decides to expand the program, there are dozens of available subcategories, including marketing and advertising services.

By comparison, Google Guaranteed is widely available and covers a large range of home services categories, such as HVAC, appliance repair, house cleaning, painting, locksmiths, plumbers and others. If a consumer connects or books through Google, the program will offer a money-back guarantee of up to $2,000 (lifetime maximum) if consumers aren’t satisfied by the work done by the providers.

In order to become Google Guaranteed, a business has to pass a background check and have their license and insurance details verified. Google Screened businesses also has to pass a similar license and background checks (civil and criminal). But, there isn’t any satisfaction or money-back guarantee with Google Screened.

Google Guarantee or partner-screened status is a requirement in order to appear in Google Assistant results on the smartphone and Google Home devices. Currently, this doesn’t extend to professional services. As an example, lawyers don’t have to be Google Screened in order to appear in Google Assistant results. But, if Google continues to expand Google Screened, it’s possible that this could change to be more in line with Google Guaranteed

SourceGreg Sterling