Local Services Ads: Partner Updates [April 2021]

Welcome to the March 2021 edition of Local Services Ads Partner Updates, delivered by LocalView! In this issue, we bring you the most important general updates, verification, and onboarding changes in the world of Local Services Ads. Here’s what’s been happening:

General Updates

1. Enhanced Contact Us Forms

Google has made improvements to the Local Services Ads Support Request Form. Remember that you can always use the phone support options for immediate assistance.

Verifications & Onboarding Updates

1. Background Check (BGC) Module Access Until Adjudicated

The business verification dashboard will now allow providers to re-enter their BGC portals with Evident & Pinkerton until the pro’s BGC has been adjudicated. This change aims to reduce confusion for providers and enables them to make allowed edits to their BGC’s without having to reach out to Evident or Pinkerton for support.

2. "Expiring Soon" Notification For COI & License

The Business verification dashboard will notify providers of recertification requirements by displaying “Expiring Soon” on the dashboard 30 days before the current COI or license docs expire.

3. Display of Rejection Reasons For COI & License

The Business Verification dashboard will display the license and insurance rejection reasons. Instead of just showing “rejected” or “expired,” it will now display all the following rejection reasons to the provider:

  • Unknown
  • Business Name Mismatch
  • Insurance coverage area does not match the service area
  • Insurance amount insufficient
  • Expired or expiring soon
  • No signature
  • No policy number
  • CGL box not marked
  • Editable format or not legitimate

Please note that only one rejection reason will be displayed.

4. Auto-Population of First Professional From Main Business License To Professional’s License Module

Local Services Ads will now automatically populate the first professional under “Professionals Fieldworkers/Agents” with the name and details entered in the main license section. This eliminates redundancy for providers, preventing them from entering their license information twice and making it clear that the business owner should be included in the Professional Fieldworker/Agent section.

If a user enters their primary license info (first name, last name, and license) in the license module, in their verification portal prior to clicking on the fieldworker module, the system will automatically populate the first field worker’s name and license based on the information entered in the primary license.

5. General Lawyer Query Opt-In Rollout

Starting mid-April, Google will introduce an additional product feature for its Lawyer verticals, offering them the choice to appear in general consumer lawyer searches, such as “Lawyer near me” & “Lawyer San Francisco”. Previously, Local Services Ads only triggered on practice area-specific lawyer queries (e.g., “immigration lawyer near me”) and not general lawyer queries (e.g., “lawyer near me”). 

With this launch, Google will begin triggering general lawyer queries, including specific practice chips on the main search page, & a practice area dropdown on the immersive search page to encourage consumers to narrow down the specific type of lawyer needed. Lawyer providers will need to opt-into general lawyer queries. Once launched, this can be done during the new account creation process or from the Profile & Budget tab. 

These leads will be broader in scope, and Google recommends that only law firms handling multiple practice areas opt-in. In return, these providers have an opportunity to receive more leads, and these general leads are typically priced lower than practice area-specific leads.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions or need further assistance, be sure to check the Local Services Ads on Google Help Page, or get in touch with our Local View team for comprehensive guidance.