What Is a Google Local Guide?
Google Local Guides are highly influential Google Maps users who get perks such as early access to new features within Google. They answer questions about local businesses, write Google reviews that appear in local search results and influence local SEO rankings.
These super users also have the ability to add and edit places and check facts listed on Google Maps. According to the leading search engine, millions of Google Search and Google Maps users rely on the insights shared by Google Local Guides.
We’ll walk through how the program works and how Google Local Guides support and drive growth for local businesses.
How does the Local Guides program work?
Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements listed below can join the Local Guides program. Once you sign up to be a Google Local Guide, you can:
- Contribute to Google Maps by sharing your local knowledge, writing Google reviews for business listings, submitting star ratings in Google Maps and posting photos and videos. Local guides can also respond to questions and edit or add missing places in Google Maps.
- Earn Google Local Guide points for being an engaged Google Local Guide. Participating is gamified with incentives for everyone who joins. The greater the number of points you collect, the higher your Google Local Guides level and the more perks you can unlock.
As you achieve new levels, you can earn early access to new Google features and updated functionality of popular Google products. Participants who achieve Google Local Guides Level 4 status earn the Google Local Guides badge.
- Join the virtual Google Local Guides community, Local Guides Connect. Meet other Local Guides in your area and all over the world.
- Attend in-person Google Local Guides meet-up events to connect with other Google Local Guides in your community.
Google Local Guides program eligibility requirements
To participate, you must:
- Create (or already have) a valid Google account
- Meet the minimum age for participation in your home country
- Sign up for the program and agree to the program’s rules
Is Google Local Guides good for businesses?
Yes, Google Local Guides can undoubtedly help businesses tell their story online and get information about their products and services out to the wider community. Not only that, their contributions have the power to help local businesses stand out in Google Search and Google Maps.
According to Google support, one way to improve your business’s local ranking on Google is to keep your Google Business Profile up to date. Ensuring your page is “accurate, complete and engaging” will help you “maximize how often users find your business in local search results,” Google explains.
As a business owner, you can manage your Business Profile, but Google Local Guides that contribute to your page can help too.
Google says that high-quality positive reviews from customers help increase business visibility within their service area. Google Local Guides earn points for posting appealing photos and videos and leaving reviews — all part of the program’s gamification.
What is the responsibility of a Google Local Guide?
The Google Local Guides program is free to join and there’s no obligation to participate, so there aren’t responsibilities per se, but there are plenty of ways Google Local Guides can contribute if they want to. Participants can:
- Add or remove photos and videos in Google Maps
- Add a missing place to Google Maps
- Edit Google Business Profiles (formerly known as Google My Business listings)
- Add or fix roads in Google Maps
- Check facts that have been added to places on Google Maps
- Report spam content
- Answer questions from the community
- Create lists of places
- Mark whether locations have been closed on Google Maps
- Write online reviews and add star ratings
What are the benefits of being a Google Local Guide?
Participation is gamified, meaning the more contributions Google Local Guides make, the more chances they have to get recognized and earn points, special rewards from partners and access to new features in Google. For instance, Google Local Guides can earn 10 points for the Google Reviews they submit about local businesses on their Google Business Profiles.
How do I find my Google Local Guides level?
You can find your Local Guides level by navigating to Google Maps, finding the menu and going to the section called “Your contributions.” There you’ll see your Google Local Guides level and total points.
Can being a Google Local Guide help with SEO?
According to Google Local Guides Help, the Local Guides program is only open to individuals. Contributions from local businesses are not allowed, and anyone who violates this policy is subject to removal from the program.
Businesses that want to edit their business listings can do so by creating or claiming their Google Business Profiles. By doing that, you’ll be able to keep your business listing up to date — something that helps your business visibility within local search. You’ll also be able to respond to your Google reviews, and yes, responding to reviews helps SEO.
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