Mike Blumenthal got word from Google that they are now testing what is called “advanced verification” in the San Diego region for the locksmiths and plumbers.
This is aimed at those two industries specifically because they tend to see a lot of spam in the Google Maps and local results. In fact, the advanced verification is being outsourced to a third-party company named Pinkerton. Pinkerton is a security risk management company that verifies employees and companies before you do transactions with them.
Google is asking locksmiths and plumbers in San Diego to go through this “advanced verification” process. They have until November 10 to respond and will hear back within two weeks if they pass the verification. If they do not pass or do not respond, Google will remove their listing.
Mike Blumenthal said:
The process is a lightweight version of the vetting that is done during the Home Services process that looks to verify the actual existence of the service area business but does not, like with Home Services, require a Pinkerton background check although it appears to include Pinkerton in the vetting.
Interestingly the process will also be applied to plumbers and locksmiths using AdWords. How that will impact national advertisers is not clear but it should help clean up an other mosh pit if the processes go national.
While this is a step in the right direction to cut back the spam in the the sleazy service area plumbing and locksmith businesses in San Diego it is but a first step. Hopefully the process will be expanded to other spammy verticals and markets.
Here are some help documents from Google on this new program:
About advanced verification
Verify your business
Advanced verification FAQs
Advanced verification policy
Advanced verification Terms of Service