google hurting contractors

How Is Google Hurt Contractors In 2016

Over a long period, Google has provided affordable methods of lead generation for contractors. With the addition of the Local Places section, contractors could be placed on the first result page with the only requirement being their business information. Contractors did not need to have a website to use Google for business promotion.

As we are all used to, Google is always making changes which are aimed at making the search engine user-friendly. Over the past few weeks, things have changed for the worst in the perspective of contractors. The changes affect the manner in which the search r3 local listingresults are displayed. There is a possibility that Google will be adding an extra service that will see the search engine join other lead services such as HomeAdvisor.

Only 3 Local Places Listings Displayed

A few weeks ago, Google shifted from their 7 places listing down to 3. This simply means that businesses that occupied the 4th to 7th spots will no longer appear in the listing. Before these changes were made the local Places Listing appeared like this:

As the image above shows, with some effort on your Places Listing, you could appear in the top 7 spots and this meant more leads. This has changed and to generate more leads now, you will have to be in the top 3 spots in your town. Have a look at the new changes below:


As the image above shows, there is no address and phone number showing. There is a new direction and website button is displayed and there is a link for ‘more plumbers’ if you want to view more listings.

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There are other things that have been altered because when you click o the company name now, you will not be taken to the Google+ page, instead you will be taken to the ‘local finder’ page which contained information about the business. This might just be a confirmation of the speculations that Google is about to drop their Google+ product.

If you are using a mobile device to search a business, the results will be slimmer as the image below shows:

Mobile search

Google no longer displays the website or the phone number. Google wants to track clicks and this is why they have the ‘click to call’ button in the new setting. Before these changes, Google could not track this information because the number was displayed and people could make calls from their phones. Google has made a change that has seen fewer companies and less information displayed. The big question is why would the giant search engine do this while they are always working towards ensuring the user gets the best results after a search?

Lead Service Beta Testing

Google is in the process of beta testing Home Services Ads and they are using Northern California. This means that the search engine will be moving towards the direction of charging contractors for leads. For instance, if you are looking for a plumber in San Mateo, the following are the results you will see:

San Mateo Plumber results

As the image shows, the contractors appearing are sponsored and have completely replaced the local place listings we are used to. Another important thing to note is that the Home Service Ads have pushed Google Adwords to the right hand side of the search result column. This simply means that these Home Service Ads will take the top spots even if the PPC are enabled. These ads will include the home improvement contractor’s photo, phone number, location, ratings and promotional text detailing their services and qualifications. Clicking on the profile will give more information, and this will be user implemented. This means that you will have to pay Google to be in this area. There is a support link here that shows if you are qualified.

You will need to provide all your company information, insurance, licenses etc. because Google has the user form that allows the search engines to sell leads. If you are interested in other plumbers and you click on the ‘more plumbers to view or contact’ link, you will be taken to the following page:

More plumbers to view

Just like the typical method used by lead companies, Google will be allowing users to select the first 3 contractors in their list.

The Google’s home service ads are currently available for locksmith and plumbing home improvement contractors in California only. Though this is the case, there is a connection between these changes and the changes that are expected for the entire local places section.

For contractors who have been dropped from the top 7 listings, there is no need to worry. First, the user might not be impressed with having only 3 options. Secondly, how will Google be able to handle cases of dissatisfaction involving the top 3 contractors. This system might not take over because the contractors might also believe the leads are not worthy. There are companies specialized in video games hardware as fps gaming mice and keyboards who are also demanding on their leads.

Regardless of what will happen, contractors will need to bring their online A game. As the listings shrink knocking many contractors off the top list, the contractors will have to focus their energy on meeting requirements set by Google and having a budget that will place them on the first spot of the search result page.

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