On August 28th, 2015, Google rolled out a brand new form of paid advertising in regards to home services. Currently the new set-up is being tested in San Francisco in order to determine the effectiveness of this type of ad going forward. Home services, and specifically locksmiths, have found that most customers are using online search engines to find service providers who they need. A change within the type of ads which Google has to offer can mean a great deal of change for home service providers and their customers. We’ll take a look at what these ads will mean for customers as well as any negative effect which they may have on businesses both large and small.
Change From Google’s Standard Paid Search
On most searches which user complete on Google they are served paid advertisements in addition to the “organic” results which the search engine’s algorithm produces. Rather than being based on a number of website signals like their organic counterparts, paid ads are served based on the amount an advertiser is willing to pay and the quality of the advertisements which they are producing. A user can distinguish these paid ads from the organic listings by the small yellow “AD” label directly next to the advertisement. This type of advertisement will no longer appear, for now in San Francisco, when a user searches something like “clogged toilet” or “local locksmith”. Instead, they will be served Google’s new Home Services Ads. Much like you may see on a site such as Yelp, the individual searching is provided with customer ratings as well as the company contact information. In addition to providing this information Google requires background checks for the service provider before their ads can be listed. This type of large change will have a definite impact on how home service companies and customers interact, if there is a larger roll out throughout the United States.
How are customers effected?
For years, customers have been frustrated by the online, and phone book, presence of unlicensed locksmiths who provide unsatisfactory services. With Google tracking and serving customer reviews directly within their paid results, customers can easily get an idea of the current standing of the company without having to go through additional research. Google’s mandatory background checks should also help to reduce the number of unscrupulous locksmiths who currently use their platform for advertising. Google users will be able to request quotes from multiple companies at once using the ad’s interface. All of these seem to be of great benefit to users and will likely increase the amount of individuals who find their home services through Google’s paid ads. However, if this is true, it would increase the amount of money that companies would need to spend on their online advertising in order to be successful. This could lead to an increase of price for the actual services which are being completed. Since Google charges the home service company regardless of if the customer selects that company to complete service, prices may rise in order to meet this shortfall.
In the end, Google’s new home service ads seem to be a net positive for consumers. However, there is a price to be paid for convenience and that seems likely to come in the form of slightly more expensive home services. In the long run, it seems that having background checks and customer reviews displayed right next to ads will help customers make the most informed decision possible on who should be completing their home services. This is especially true for individuals like our emergency locksmith customers, if you are locked out of your home, you may find it difficult to complete research right on the spot. Instead, you would be able to rely on Google’s reviews to guide you on the selection of your service provider. Phila-Locksmith will continue to monitor the roll out of Google’s home services ads, and will update consumers if they do in fact find their way to the Delaware Valley.