Google trials new verification tool
Whether you’re looking for a locksmith, a plumber, or any other local business you need, you want to make sure they’re the real deal, which is why Google has started trialling a new spam prevention technique that aims to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. The new advanced verification process is the internet giant’s answer to fraudsters and scammers who are fooling innocent people.
The trial is currently only in the San Diego area, and is being specifically used for locksmiths and plumbers. This is because one of the most ‘spammy’ areas in Google is the Google Maps results for locksmiths in San Diego, and a portion of which are, in actual fact, an online scam. You only need to Google ‘locksmith scam’ to discover this fraudulent activity, and also discover that it doesn’t just happen in San Diego. Similar scams are also popping up in sectors like plumbing and roofing, which is why this trial is also targeting plumbers in the area.
Google hopes that this new process will prevent fraudulent plumbers and locksmiths filling up its ads and search results, but if it works it may well spread across different industries and different areas. This ultimately means that one day you may need to complete the verification process for your own business.
The verification process is quite simple; it just requires a small amount of time. Users will need to create a Google My Business account, if they don’t have one already, and fill out some questions. This then leads to a third party called Pinkerton who will ask another series of questions, which should take around 30 minutes to fill out (not ideal but if it stops you losing business to online spammers then it’ll certainly be worth it). Google has confirmed that any information provided to Pinkerton will be confidential, and only used to verify the business.
Right now, as the trial is in a specific area and industry, we’ll just have to wait and see how well it works and if Google will be bringing it to the rest of the world. However, if you haven’t already got a Google My Business account then make sure you get one now – annoyingly you’ll have to wait for Google to send you a postcard in the mail to complete the verification process, but it certainly is worth its weight in gold for your search presence.