In a move that is sure to get many businesses offering home services more than a little concerned, Google is reportedly planning on entering the home service providers market space. And they want to integrate it with their search results.
It definitely raises some interesting questions… particularly how Google could implement it without raising the ire of other sites that aim to connect home service providers with those in need – and the attention of government.
That said, Amazon launched a similar service last week, Home Services. It covers traditional home service spaces, as well as computers, automotive and even musical lessons. Was this what prompted Google to consider their own? While Amazon is not a search engine, many consider the company a major threat to Google.
Sources close to the company told BuzzFeed News that Google plans to announce a new product aimed at connecting Google search users with local home-service providers — like plumbers and electricians — at an advertising conference later this spring. The product will be integrated into Google’s core search offering and is intended to capitalize on search intent, turning queries about home improvement tasks into engagement with home-service providers.
Currently, Google searches for things like plumbers and electricians return links to service providers along with associated AdWord advertisements. Sources said the new product would go beyond this presentation format to actually connect search users with service providers, though it’s not yet clear how communication between the two parties occur. Google declined to comment for this story.
It raises plenty of questions about how Google would do it. Would it be ratings based, similar to Yelp? Would it be strictly ad based, where the company willing to pay the most via an AdWords product be able to show up first? Could it be a hybrid of the two, where Google somehow takes ratings into account when setting ad placement prices, similar to a quality score just for home service providers, if they could manage to police fake reviews appropriately?
Local search marketers should definitely pay attention to this, as it could completely change the way a business needs to be visible in local and mobile search.
Google declined to comment on the story to Buzzfeed when asked.
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