Google appears to be staying true to their plan to expand Home Service Ads nationwide by the end of 2017. A source says they aim to launch or expand verticals in the following markets during October and November:
Houston, TX* (TBD due to Hurricane Harvey)
Miami, FL* (TBD due to Hurricane Irma)
Riverside/San Bernardino, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, FL
San Antonio, TX
St. Louis, MO
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL
Now, more businesses across the country will have the chance to partner with Google to be featured in the ads, including plumbers electricians, locksmiths, handymen, HVAC pros, contractors and more. Although searches for a few of the home service categories in the current test markets are still yet to show the ads, Google seems to be making a push to include more.
Google began rolling out testing for the ads in select California markets in August 2015, then launched on the East Coast in Philadelphia this past June. In August 2017, nearly two years after the initial launch in California, businesses could start partnering with Google for Home Service Ads in Chicago, as well.
It’s likely that Google is already in the process of recruiting and vetting home service providers in the 18 U.S. markets where they plan to expand. To become a partner, businesses must undergo a rigorous background check, obtain proper licenses and insurance, and be evaluated by undercover shoppers. These are all measures from Google to ensure they’re showing users ads for reputable providers.
Once partnered with Google, select businesses in these markets will have the chance to connect directly with customers via phone calls and web-based leads. And instead of being charged for clicks or views, they’ll only be charged for the leads that they receive. On the user end, customers can leave reviews and place requests straight from the search results page.
When asked if they plan to provide more insight into in the traffic and performance of the ads, our source said they are focused mostly on leads, not clicks, so they don’t plan to release metrics based on clicks, impressions, rankings or keywords. But they did say they are working on some plans to provide better reporting for partners and will have more details to share soon.