Google is presently sending surveys to local businesses to see if their clients who use GMB listings would like to pay for some of the features that they are using for free right now. This would tell Google whether they should go ahead with this plan or not and the amount of money that they should charge each month for their services. The survey includes amounts that range from 25 dollars to 60 dollars. The following services are expected to be included in these packages but in various combinations:
- Video on Your Business Profile
- Automated response for reviews
- Background check
- Instant quote
- Verified reviews
- Google Guarantee
- Featured reviews
- Google customer support
- Remove ads from your business profile
- Get leads from competitor profiles
- Promote your “Book” button
Why Is This Important?
One of the biggest implications of such a move, should it happen, would be on your budget as you would have to make room for the same. Else, you would simply have to forego the same.
Google started this particular service for free as they were dependent on third-party providers for local data. The problem with such data was that it was either inaccurate or out of date. This was a problem that Google had to solve. This is why Google provided a way in which businesses could update information on their own. This service has now become highly important for most businesses out there. This is perhaps the reason why Google has now decided to charge some fees for the same. As and when it does so, Google would surely generate some nice revenue from the same.
But, it also needs to be stated in this particular context that this is not normally how Google monetizes its search results. It normally charges money for search ads rather than simply for being listed in search results. This decision would change that model to an extent and could also complicate matters for the internal ethics of Google that focuses more on supporting. Only time would tell what happens in the future in this particular regard. Would it charge for listings or would it charge for using services such as Google Ads Express and Google Ads?