Would You Pay $50/Mo for Upgraded Google My Business?

Would you pay $50/month to get a "Google Guaranteed" badge on your GMB listing? Here's what we know about the program Google is testing and what it could mean for business.

Written By Matthew Martin

July 31, 2020

Google Tests New GMB Upgrade

Earlier this month, some users noticed a new option when it came to using and updating their Google Business profiles. Google didn’t officially announce the option, but reportedly they’re testing an upgraded version that costs $50/month.

When clients signed up, messaging offered to upgrade that business’s account by adding a Google Guaranteed badge to their listing. When SEOs heard the news, it sounded like GMB was becoming a paid product, which could have a huge impact on local businesses and the online community.

The Facts Thus Far

Google plays it pretty close to the chest, and the first upgrade notice sightings were July 22nd. So far, only two things are certain:

  • This is still in testing. Google tests things frequently, but testing alone doesn’t mean something is going to become reality.
  • The idea of paid GMB features aren’t new. In 2019 a survey circulated that asked users what fees they’d be willing to pay to use.

Almost as soon as Google sent out the 2019 survey, Bright Local polled users and found that 59 percent of them had concerns about paying for GMB services. It may be the backlash is great enough paid Google My Business is a thing of the far-off future, or one that never comes to pass at all.

On the topic, Google was characteristically vague, stating:

We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers, merchants and users. This experiment will show the Google Guaranteed badge on the business profile. We don’t have anything additional to announce right now.

How The Google Guarantee Works

Google says when businesses pass the screening process, they become backed by the Google Guarantee. At that point, customers have reassurance similar to what they get from BBB accredited businesses. If customers aren’t happy with services booked through Google Local Services, they can submit a claim. Google contacts the business owner and conducts an investigation, then decides on a resolution.

Why It Matters

A trust badge signaling a business is “Google Guaranteed” could be a powerful influencing factor. Google already has a screening and qualification process, so businesses would be subject to eligibility rules, but if they do, standing out is only a matter of money.

Imagine the impact on click-through rates for two competitors if one has the Google Guarantee badge and the other does not. The badge stands out both on Profile and in Local Pack.

Google has long been on the lookout for ways to increase revenue from businesses who seldom or never use Ads. Presenting a paid option creates pressure – as businesses start losing customers to their Google Guaranteed competitor, they’ll have to choose between forking over their own $600/year or falling significantly behind on search.

What Do You Think?

According to Archive.org, the new program just made its debut on April 30, 2020. Yelp already offers trust badging to signal trust, but until now all GMB features have been free. One theory is Google will add more features for paying businesses over time.

So what about you? Would you pay for additional features on your business profile that could make your business stand out? What features would be worth paying for, and how much would you be willing to pay?

We stay on top of breaking news and new branding tools when it comes to Google My Business. If your GMB profile isn’t optimized, that’s just part of what we offer in our SEO Accelerator Program. Send us a message to learn more, and we’ll be in touch.



Score Your Website Instantly

With our Website Checker, you’ll be able to see how your website scores for On-Site SEO, Usability, Performance, Social, Security, and other Technical Issues. Even better, you’ll get your scores instantly!

If you would like to check your Local SEO and Off-Site Rankings, please use our Local SEO Checker.

Learn To Grow Your Business

Our Newest Articles

Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Top 5 Web Design Trends for 2021 and Beyond

Digital technology is always changing. SEO firms have to keep up with new developments, or websites may lose their prospects. Underlying applications may change their standards and rules, which means the website may fail to respond accordingly. Here are some innovative solutions that will be...

Top 5 Email Marketing Trends

Top 5 Email Marketing Trends

Email is still the most effective form of marketing in the digital world. It beats SEO and Social Media platforms even as new technologies have had an impact on its speed and accuracy. Projections anticipate that AI and mobile will transform how we conduct marketing campaigns online. This article...

5 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Web Design Agency

5 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Web Design Agency

Any business that wants to remain competitive both online and offline must have a well-optimized website. A professional site builds your online credibility. It also targets a specific niche, allowing you to reach out to potential customers with the latest news and products. Businesses with...

Resources and Guides, Web Design Ebooks

Improve Your Marketing

Get fresh tips, how-tos, and expert advice to make marketing that really freaking works.

(12,500 marketers are already doing it.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!