Google is currently testing a new Marketplace for Home Serviced Businesses in the US that is run via Adwords. This new home service model is being run for Plumbers San Francisco and Locksmiths San Francisco and will probably run out further.
I assume that Google needs to test whether the new marketplace will generate more Ad revenue then the old search result layout. We also have no idea how much of a percentage, cost per inquiry Google is charging.
About Home Service Ads
If you’ve searched for a plumber or locksmith on Google, you may have seen an ad unit featuring qualified professionals in your area. These units are part of a new beta program called home service ads, an easier way for you to connect with qualified home service professionals in your area.
Select with confidence. All professionals must pass criminal background checks, maintain any applicable trade licenses and insurance, and have strong track records.
Get in touch easily. Save time by connecting with multiple professionals at once—just describe your problem and we’ll send your request to everyone you select.
View More Details: https://support.google.com/ads/answer/6233859
Not Strictly Pay to Play
This beta marketplace is not quite Pay to Play, as in set up an Adwords account and you are on your way. Google requires:
All businesses shown in home service ads must require each of their in-home workers to undergo background checks by Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations, Inc. If this rolls out, Google UK will probably use G4S or other similar large “security” / “vetting” company.
The background check process includes inquiries about the validity of home service professionals’ Social Security numbers, criminal history (including cross-checks against national sex offender, terrorist, and sanctions registries and lists), and trade license and insurance verifications.
( Time to dust off your CRB checks, and not just for you, but the entire workforce )
Pinkerton verifies the trade licenses identified by home service professionals during the background check process.
Locksmiths need a valid license from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. They also need a general contractor’s license to perform services costing greater than $500.
( UK would mean being MLA registered )
Plumbers need a general contractor’s license to perform services costing greater than $500. Plumbers and handymen without a contractor’s license may still appear in home service ads, but are prohibited from performing services that cost more than this limit.
( UK would be your Corgi registration )
Google requires home service businesses to carry insurance coverage for work performed.
We want to connect you with the most qualified, recommended and trusted businesses. That’s why we also do research on the online reputations of each home service business.
We collect ratings and reviews from people who hired home service professionals through our home service ads, and use mystery shoppers—customers who communicate and hire professionals on our behalf without mentioning any affiliation with Google to help us learn more about the customer experience. We may suspend or terminate businesses based on poor ratings or mystery shopping experiences.
( Start building your positive reviews in your Google Business page )
View Full Details: https://support.google.com/ads/answer/6230381
The full implementation of this will depend on revenue that Google generates from this new marketplace. How much are the businesses prepared to bid on positions within the marketplace and how far can the price point be pushed in commission / referral fees.
Interesting times ahead!