On July 22nd, Google My Business Product Expert, Tom Waddington spotted a new feature being tested in Google Business profiles.
Google starting to offer an upgraded Business Profile (Google My Business listing) for $50/month that will add the Google Guaranteed badge to the listing and back services the business provides with the Google Guarantee. pic.twitter.com/x4bHLuVEi2
— Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) July 22, 2020
What he saw caused SEOs to think that their fears were being realized: Google My Business was becoming a paid-for product.
But as we well know in local SEO, things are not always as clear as they first seem.
With so much speculation out there, we wanted to clear things up. That’s why I’ve waded through the mass of information and chatter circulating the internet to work out exactly:
What we know
So, as I mentioned and as Tom’s tweet showed, the news broke on July 22nd that Google was testing paid-for Google My Business profiles. This tells us two things:
- Google My Business is testing this. Paid-for profiles are not yet confirmed, Google tests things all the time, with some features being formally rolled out and others never seeing the light of day.
- Google might be considering a paid-for offering (in this case, $50/month) in some context. Although this idea has caused quite the stir (as we’ll come onto later), it’s not necessarily new information. Back in the summer of sixty-ni—sorry, 2019—Google My Business caused controversy with its…