Is it time to panic?
Probably not just yet, from what we know so far Google is testing a paid verified badge for Google My Business – or “That Google map thing” as our clients call it.
Search Engine Land reached out to a Google spokesperson, who said:
We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers, merchants, and users. This experiment will show the Google Guaranteed badge on the business profile. We don’t have anything additional to announce right now.
The Google Guarantee badge is available for businesses that pass a Google screening and qualification process through Google Local Services.
– This could be a good thing, it might filter out more spam and fake map listings?
– It could be disastrous for small business with no budget to spend let alone pay for somethign that was free.
– Paid might mean we have Google support to call?
– Would the paid listings rank higher?