Brace yourself—Google is in the process of “changing the game board” again when it comes to generating leads through local search. For almost three years in the bay area of San Francisco, Google had been experimenting testing different approaches to directly compete against HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List, and getting into the ‘lead-selling’ business. Unlike AdWords, where you are just buying ad space and the transaction is directly between you and the consumer, Google’s new Home Services division wants to be the new ‘broker’ and ‘quality police’ of the entire transaction. In other words, like HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List, they want to become the gatekeeper between you and new customers. The scary news is that they will probably be very successful in doing it—especially with how they have structured their new program.
Currently, Google is in the process of rolling out their new program in seven major cities around the country. The cities are Phoenix, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Diego, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. For your consideration, in this article I will go over how their new program works, what has changed that may have caused them to initiate the rollout now, and my analysis of the potential long-term repercussions.
Welcome to Google Home Services—and the ‘Google Guaranteed’ program
After watching Google over the last few years try to make its Home Services platform work (which is a good amount of time for Google to test anything)
, I was surprised when I learned a little over a month ago that it was breaking out of California and expanding to new cities around the country. What I wanted to know was, what had they changed in the program that made them decide their program was a winner?
It may be because they want to beat the new HomeAdvisor merger with Angie’s List that will culminate in December, but I was curious as to what the final version looked like. Finding the answer to that question has been surprisingly difficult, since Google has kept a tight lid on what they are doing. Obtaining preliminary information on their new program has taken a good amount of time and effort to say the least—but here’s how the program is being rolled out today…