Google Local Guides Program: How To Earn Points & Badges

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Google relies on volunteers known as Local Guides to ensure that Search and Maps remain up-to-date with details about nearby businesses and points of interest.

These dedicated volunteers provide valuable contributions such as reviews, photographs, and videos, aiding others in making informed choices when exploring new locations.

While their primary motivation is to assist searchers, Local Guides receive virtual rewards through Google’s program, encouraging continued participation and the maintenance of accurate information on Maps.

In addition to their contributions, Local Guides have the opportunity to verify information submitted by businesses. Participation is open to all, allowing anyone to join and contribute reviews in exchange for recognition and perks.

This article offers insight into the Local Guide program, covering aspects such as enrollment, responsibilities, and the various rewards available for participants.

What Is The Google Local Guide Program?

The Google Local Guide program provides incentives for users to enhance Google Maps and Business Profiles.

Structured akin to a game, participants earn points for their contributions, allowing them to progress to higher levels and unlock badges.

These badges are displayed alongside their name whenever they write reviews or respond to queries on Maps, signifying their expertise in the local domain.

Points, Levels & Badges

Points can be earned through various contributions to Google Maps, as follows:

  • Writing a review: 10 points.
  • Writing a review with 200+ characters: 10 bonus points.
  • Rating a business: 1 point.
  • Uploading a photo: 5 points.
  • Tagging a photo: 3 points.
  • Adding a caption to a photo: 10 points.
  • Uploading a video: 7 points.
  • Providing an answer: 1 point.
  • Responding to Q&As: 3 points.
  • Editing information: 5 points.
  • Adding a place: 15 points.
  • Adding a road: 15 points.
  • Fact-checking: 1 point.

Advancement to higher levels in the Local Guides program is based on accruing points through these contributions.

The Local Guides program comprises the following levels:

  • 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.

From level four onwards, participants are awarded a badge, which is prominently displayed next to their name whenever they interact on Google Maps.

In the past, Google offered appealing perks to Local Guides, such as complimentary cloud storage and discounts on apps and media.

However, as the Local Guides program grew, Google phased out these additional benefits and now primarily grants badges to acknowledge user contributions.

While Google does not guarantee any specific rewards, there may be instances where Local Guides receive early access to new features on occasion.

How To Join The Google Local Guides Program

Step One

You can navigate to the signup page for Google Local Guides and select “Get Started.”

Step Two

Enter your city’s name and click on “Become a Local Guide.”

Step Three

You can begin earning points on Google Maps by contributing content.

Similar to the example displayed above, the dashboard allows you to track your advancement towards the next level.

If you grant Google access to your location history, you’ll receive recommendations for places to review based on your past visits.

However, enabling location tracking is not necessary to become a Local Guide. You can always manually search for places and provide information about them.

How Local Guides Can Impact SEO

Local search marketing heavily depends on Local Guides and the content they provide.

The reviews, photos, and other user-generated content shared by Local Guides can greatly enhance the visibility and search rankings of a business.

Businesses can highlight this content by actively engaging with it, responding to reviews, and interacting with influential Local Guides.

Furthermore, participating in the Local Guides community offers valuable consumer insights and facilitates the establishment of relationships with key users who can advocate for the business.

Staying updated on developments within the Local Guides program enables businesses to leverage new opportunities effectively.

In Summary

Signing up to be a Google Local Guide is open to anyone with a Google account.

To become a Local Guide, you simply need to contribute a sufficient amount of accurate information, photos, and thoughtful reviews to Google Maps and Business Profiles.

Upon reaching level four, Google will display a badge next to your name on your reviews, indicating to others that you are a knowledgeable Local Guide.

The Local Guides program serves as Google’s way of expressing gratitude to individuals who dedicate their time to keeping Google Maps current and beneficial.

Participating in this program offers a valuable bonus by enhancing your online presence and credibility among Google users.

If you’re interested in receiving recognition for your efforts in improving Google Maps, consider signing up to be a Local Guide today.

Original news from SearchEngineJournal