Google has been seen testing its latest experimental feature; ads that encourage searchers to call or text the company directly for local services. Joe Goldstein of Navolutions was first to report seeing this feature after conducting a search for “plumber los gatos”, which returned an ad reading “Call Google to find a trusted local plumber.”
The ad leads to a landing page dedicated to a new service which appears to be titled “Concierge”, and at this point its dedicated to just plumbers. The page offers links to call or text Google directly to get in touch with a pre-screened plumber — aimed at reducing time searchers spend searching for the best service providers in their area.
When contacting Google through one of the numbers provided, a representative from the company will be on hand to discuss your needs and put you in touch with the plumber best suited for the job. From there, a pre-screened and insured plumber will call back within a few hours to book an appointment.
“We take the guesswork out of finding trustworthy, reliable plumbers,” reads the tagline, but ultimately it’s up to the individual who they want to work with. Plumbers will call back with quotes and you can see for yourself who is the best fit before making your decision.
A Revealing Experiment
It’s interesting that Google is adding a human component to the search for local service providers. With this experiment Google may be conceding its algorithms have shortcomings when returning the most reputable service providers. Is Google not able to return results for pre-screened and insured service providers without adding a real live person to the mix?
It may also reveal that Google’s home service ads, launched last summer, have not been catching on as the company had hoped. Goldstein reports the ad disappeared as quickly as it was spotted, although the landing page is still live. There’s no telling how heavily Google intends to move forward with this experiment. Likely we’ll learn more after Google received feedback from the limited test.
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