Last June, Google announced at SMX that the upcoming ‘3 Pack’ would be comprised of an individual sponsored listing and a pair of organic ones. Recently, however, Google has been experimenting with an updated AdWords Express Powered product in the San Francisco Bay area, and it seems that the ‘3 Pack’ are indeed AdWords-sponsored listings. When you take a closer look at the figures, you can see why this is the case. The number of people and small businesses they want to target, such as electricians, plumbers, dog walkers, handymen, servicing a multi-billion market in America.
Australia: A Region Ready for Disruption
Although there are several US-based players in this field (TaskRabbit, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Pro.com), no singular company has achieved total domination of the marketplace. In fact, several of these organizations are financed by Google (Thumbtack)!
With that, how long before Australians can anticipate seeing a similar offering from Google? Currently, it looks like Google AdWords is fine-tuning their contribution in America. So, what can we learn from the U.S. roll-out? What will the ramifications be for local lead generation services when they begin in Australia?
Here is a screenshot of Google’s local snack pack as it currently looks in Australia.
Something to be Mindful of
Google AdWords are not accepting any more contractors to the beta test at the moment, so those that are already listed are the last candidates being utilized for this test. Feedback regarding the success of those in the beta experiments has been noted, though.
Shafer Contracting, a Bay Area home services provider, stated that the company grew by 30% upon being seen in the home services ads. This makes the recent extension to the Sacramento area a key time for contractors who service Sacramento, as they can take part in the home services program prior to it getting filled up (like it did in San Francisco).
The most recent list of home services Google is currently experimenting with consist of:
- Home Cleaners
The new home services ad is Google’s way of obtaining some of the home services market share and compete against similar service providers such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Amazon Home Services.
A Possible Threat
Even though there are no signs that Google will inherently offer their product to Australia, there are existing companies to use as an alternative. Each of them are mindful that they are serving customers who are mobile, and won’t be inclined to use those platforms if they’re not worthwhile. Examples include ‘mobile marketplace’ Airtasker, where you can book someone to run errands for you, as well as Quotes by Quotify, Hipages, Oneflare, ServiceSeeking.com.au platforms committed to the home improvement field.
Oneflare’s – Quoting Android App
Until Google shows interest, local players in Australia – like Oneflare – companies can keep enjoying the advantages of being first-mover and fight hard to be the leader in an ever-changing local services market.
What to Anticipate with Google’s New Home Services Ads in Australia
The home services ads that are currently shown in America include the following elements:
- Company name
- Image of company owner
- Company location
- Contact info
- Button to Submit Request
As most Google management agencies, have seen, Google home service ads for some industries have dominated Google’s local packs. The previous local packs were taken by Google’s complementary “My Business” pages, which previously ranked organizations based on various signals.
The following cities in the San Francisco Bay Area stimulate the home service ads’ appearance at the top of organic search results. The ads have become progressively intricate; Google has been effective in targeting particular services associated with each industry.
|Alameda, CA||Albany, CA||Atherton, CA|
|Belmont, CA||Belvedere, CA||Berkeley, CA|
|Brisbane, CA||Burlingame, CA||Campbell, CA|
|Castro Valley, CA||Colma, CA||Cupertino, CA|
|Daly City, CA||Dixon, CA||Foster City, CA|
|El Cerrito, CA||Emeryville, CA||Fremont, CA|
|Hayward, CA||Hercules, CA||Hillsborough, CA|
|Los Altos, CA||Los Gatos, CA||Millbrae, CA|
|Milpitas, CA||Monte Soreno, CA||Mountain View, CA|
|Newark, CA||Oakland, CA||Palo Alto, CA|
|Piedmont, CA||Redwood City, CA||Richmond, CA|
|Ross, CA||San Francisco, CA||San Leandro, CA|
|San Lorenzo, CA||San Mateo, CA||Santa Clara, CA|
|Saratoga, CA||South San Francisco, CA||Stanford, CA|
|Sunnyvale, CA||Union City, CA||Woodside, CA|
It also looks like those home service ads are just for desktop screens and aren’t shown on mobile search screens at the moment.
The Local pack is being displayed in mobile search. Google is also experimenting with layouts that feature the local pack and the home services, which may be a path they could shift towards down the road.
How Is This Beneficial for Australian Service Professionals?
U.S based service professionals should make use of this new service. Jumping the bandwagon for Australians ahead of time will allow locals service providers to acquire experience with the platform early, and possibly land a good spot with positive reviews and an understanding of how the system operates.
When the service gets popular, it will be more costly and difficult to land clients at an affordable rate, as competition will raise prices. By that time, local tradesman will want to be ahead of the competition by being a verified business with an abundance of reviews under their belt.
The Google Home Service advertisements are a fascinating experiment by the search engine. To consumers, they offer credibility by locating quality and reliable home service contractors. Subsequently, those in the home improvement field get a chance to use Google Ads in a pay-per-lead model.
That said, it will become more difficult for professionals to gain entry to the program and remain there, as harder screening procedures and high service standards will be utilized to obtain positive reviews. Keep your eye how the test goes in California, and if Google will make modifications to the rest of the globe, including the Australian market.