Local Services Ads: Partner Updates [September 2021]

Welcome to the latest edition of Google’s Local Services Ads Partner Updates for September 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

General Updates

1. Launching In 23 New Verticals On Local Services Ads In The U.S.!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Local Services Ads in 23 new verticals in the United States, available for provider sign-up and account creation today! To sign up for these new verticals, you can create new accounts from your MCC or the
self-sign-up portal. Should you have any feedback or questions regarding these new verticals, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Local Services Ads support teams.

Verifications & Onboarding Updates

1. Reminder: How To Complete Background Checks In The U.S. With Business Owners From Outside The US

A quick refresher on how to complete the Business Owner (BO) background check requirement for providers who have businesses in the US but are from outside the US:

  • Evident: Advises non-US citizen providers to use their Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) instead of their Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Pinkerton: Advises providers to enter all 9s in the SSN field and will reach out for other identification directly to the provider as needed.

2. New Rollout For Business Verification Portal For Advertisers

An improved business
verification tab is being rolled out in stages for providers on Local Services Ads. This enhanced page includes new content in many of the onboarding modules, explaining common questions and simplifying the required document submissions. By the end of Q4 2021, the new Business Verification tab will be fully rolled out to all providers.

New Improvements Include:

  • License: Display links to the license verification portal based on geographic and vertical factors.
  • Headshot: Detailed feedback on the types of images that qualify as good headshots, with examples.
  • Insurance: Additional instructions to clarify document expectations, including reasons for failure or rejection.
  • Background Checks: Provide more information to providers about the background check process, distinguishing between different background check steps (Business Entity, Business Owner, and Professional checks, when required).
  • Workers and Employees: Update the card to directly add a fieldworker, eliminating the need for providers to state upfront how many fieldworkers work at the company. For multi-vertical providers, you can select which verticals the fieldworker works with.
  • Budget & Bidding: Add copy updates and dropdowns to help users understand how they are charged and guide them on selecting the correct budget and bid amount.

3. List Of Top U.S. Counties Affected By COVID-19 Court Delays

Background Checks continue to face delays due to COVID-related court closures. This leads to longer wait times for providers to receive responses from Evident or Pinkerton. Note that the impact is not limited to current residents of affected counties; individuals who have resided in these counties in the past 7 years can also be affected.

  • Pinkerton List: Request access to this sheet to see affected counties.

Evident List: Affected counties include Gwinnett County, GA; Clayton County, GA; Boulder County, CO; El Dorado County, CA; Williams County, ND; Marin County, CA; Citrus County, FL; Cooke County, IL.

Have Questions?

If you have any inquiries or need further assistance, please consult the Local Services Ads on Google Help Page, or get in touch with our Local View team for comprehensive guidance.