Google depends on a community of dedicated volunteers all over the world to keep Search and Maps updated with current information about businesses, places, and local attractions.
Those volunteers are called Local Guides.
When you visit a new city and look up information about hotels and restaurants, there’s a good chance Google Local Guides have provided the information you need to make informed decisions.
Local Guides selflessly contribute reviews, photos, videos, and more all for the benefit of searchers like yourself.
Well, that’s almost true. Local Guides do receive virtual rewards for their services.
Google developed the Local Guides program to incentivize regular individuals to help keep Maps updated.
Local Guides are also called upon to verify information contributed by businesses is accurate.
Anyone is eligible to join the Local Guide program – and if you contribute reviews to Google Maps already, you might as well get some recognition for it.
This article will go over what the Google Local Guide program is, how to join it, and what kinds of perks you can earn from it.
What Is The Google Local Guide Program?
The Google Local Guide program is a gamified system that rewards users for making contributions to Google Maps and Google Business Profiles.
As a Local Guide, you earn points for every contribution. After accumulating a set number of points you can progress to new levels of the program and unlock new badges.
Your badge is displayed next to your name in Google Maps when you leave a review or answer questions, so everyone will recognize you as a local expert.
Points, Levels & Badges
Points can be earned with the following contributions to Google Maps:
- Write a review – 10 points
- Write a 200+ character review – 20 points
- Rate a business – 1 point
- Upload a photo – 5 points
- Tag a photo – 3 points
- Upload a video – 7 points
- Respond to Q&As – 3 points
- Edit information – 5 points
- Add a place – 15 points
- Add a road – 15 points
- Check a fact – 1 point
- Publish an eligible list – 10 points
- Write a description (in list) – 5 points
You’ll reach higher levels in the Local Guides program as you build up points.
At level four and higher, you’ll earn a badge that’s displayed next to your name when it appears in Google Maps.
The levels of the local guides program are as follows:
- Level 1 – 0 points
- Level 2 – 15 points
- Level 3 – 75 points
- Level 4 – 250 points
- Level 5 – 500 points
- Level 6 – 1,500 points
- Level 7 – 5,000 points
- Level 8 – 15,000 points
- Level 9 – 50,000 points
- Level 10 – 100,000 points
In the past, Google offered bonuses to high-level Local Guides, such as free cloud storage and discounts in the Google Play store.
As the program grew Google phased out the extras and now only offers badges.
Local Guides occasionally receive early access to new Google features, though nothing is promised.
How To Join The Google Local Guides Program
Visit the Google Local Guides signup page and click on Get Started.
Enter the name of your city and click on Become a Local Guide.
Start earning points by making contributions to Google Maps.
In the dashboard, like the one shown above, you can keep track of your points and progress towards the next level.
If you allow Google to view your location history you’ll receive recommendations of places to review based on where you’ve been.
However, it’s not necessary to turn on location history tracking in order to participate in Local Guides. You can always look up locations manually and contribute to them.
You can become a Google Local Guide by following a simple signup process that’s available to everyone with a Google account.
After making enough contributions to reach level four, a badge will appear next to your name when leaving reviews signifying to others you’re a Local Guide.
It’s one more way of enhancing your online presence and standing out in the world’s top search engine.
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