Attention all plumbers, landscapers, and contractors — and anyone who runs a home-service business. Google is now testing a new paid search product. The advertising platform, called home service ads, connects new customers to qualified home-service providers through Google Search.

What Are Home Service Ads?

The idea behind home service ads is that users who perform searches for certain services on Google can browse ad units of trusted and experienced home-service providers in the targeted area.

Google Home Service Ads
Google search results for “san francisco plumber.”

For example, say you are searching for an emergency plumber. You arrive at the search results page, and at the top you see home-service professionals. Google compiles the business basics so that you can quickly browse through a reputable company’s profile, services offered, contact information, areas served, hours of operation, and customer reviews — all in one place.

How Do Providers Qualify?

A big feature Google seems to target for the new product is that ads are only coming from “qualified” professionals. So how does Google determine exactly which businesses make the grade? Here are a few procedures required to qualify for home service ads:

  • Background checks of all home-service workers
  • License checks for locksmiths and plumbers
  • Insurance coverage for work performed

Though it does require significant setup, the vetting process is extensive in order to guarantee the business’s reputation is highly trusted. Unlike AdWords, a business cannot pay more to be ranked higher, so the ad system only takes into account the quality of the service.

Reviews and Ratings for Home Service Ads

Reviews are generated only from customers who have connected with the business from a Google home service ad. Google emails customers to get feedback and asks them to rate their experience on a 5-star scale. The search giant will even do further research of the business’s reputation by hiring mystery shoppers.

The beta program is being tested for home-service providers in San Francisco. For more news on Google products and other digital marketing news, follow The Web Guys’ blog, 5 in the Bucket. Each week, we provide valuable tips on the latest industry trends and answer common questions about Internet marketing, Web design, and more.