Don’t forget – we’ve also analyzed Google’s recently redesigned layout. Download the full insights to the right!

Currently in its beta phase, Google is testing out a new paid search format for home services professionals. This allows Google searchers to view a list of companies, and send quote requests to up to three professionals simultaneously. The functionality is similar to a Thumbtack or a Home Advisor, but happening right in the Google search.

The ramifications could be huge – after all, these ads replace the Google Local pack when they appear, and rely on many of the same quality signals. If you aren’t investing in paid search, you may find yourself being edged out by service providers with paid placements.

That being said, this isn’t a straight trade of dollars for traffic. The Google Home Services format prominently displays review stars (straight from your Google Local business listing), giving businesses with sharp reviews a competitive advantage in drawing traffic and converting that traffic into sales. That makes your consumer reviews more important than ever.

Here’s what the platform looks like when you click in to select a remodeler:

Some of the new format’s functionality goes well above and beyond standard paid search ads – for instance, you have to pass a background check and provide proof of insurance/licensure. Plus, Google checks in on your reputation, even going so far as to have ‘mystery shoppers’ contact you. Only companies with solid customer service, presumably, will be allowed to participate.

On the customer side, this will provide a better user experience, with only reputable providers appearing in the most prominent ad positions. Companies will likely find that these customers are more likely to click and convert, encouraged by Google’s highly visible safeguards.

All in all, it should be interesting to see how Google Home Services develops. Are you interested in more recent Google changes? Google redesigned its search results page, and those changes are impacting your digital marketing right now – download our whitepaper below to see how those changes effect home services professionals!