Google Adds Paid Home Service Provider Suggestions To Search Results For “Clogged Toilet,” “Plumber”

Google provided this example of what its new services ad function will look like.

Google provided this example of what its new services ad function will look like.

Less than a year after Amazon took on the likes of Angie’s List, Yelp and other companies that can connect consumers to professional service providers like plumbers, locksmiths, electricians and others, Google announced it would join the fray by adding prescreened service providers to its sponsored search results.

The new service – which launched in the San Francisco Bay area on Friday – is part of Google’s paid app for small businesses called AdWords Express in which professional service providers pay to be within the top search results for a given word, like “plumber” or “clogged toilet.”

Service providers are screened and qualified by Google. They must be licensed, insured and complete a background check and mystery shopping review, a spokesperson for the company tells the Wall Street Journal.

After the qualifying process, Google says it will organize the information provided by the company into a business page.

“When someone in your service area searches for ‘house cleaners’ or other related terms, we’ll show your profile within an expandable listing at the top of Google search results,” the company says.

Customers can then read reviews, submit service requests or call businesses directly for more information.

So far, the company says that services are available for plumbers, handymen, locksmiths and house cleaners.

The new service will be direct competition for Amazon’s new Home Services platform, consumer review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List, as well as traditional retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s, both of which have worked to link consumers with local service providers in the past.

[via The Wall Street Journal]