Local Guides is a global community of explorers who write reviews, share photos, answer questions, add or edit places and check facts on Google Maps. Millions of people rely on contributions like mine to decide where to go and what to do.
It’s difficult to dispute that local search is more important than ever right now. There are countless stats that underpin this assertion, such as the fact that 46% of all Google searches are made with the intent of finding local information.
It’s also impossible to deny that user-generated content (UGC) is quickly growing in importance against this backdrop, with an expanding body of data suggesting that it is a critical tool in the decision-making process.
In our current online landscape, Google Local Guides have taken on new relevance.
It’s also important to remember that people trust people. Many consumers, especially the Millennial generation onwards, distrust advertising and brand-generated content. In fact, 84% of Millennials classify themselves as distrustful of traditional marketing. That leaves peers as the most trusted form of recommendation when it comes to everything from finding a restaurant and booking a hotel to finding a contractor or choosing a vet.
Millions of people around the world rely on the information shared by Guides to decide where to go and what to do. This makes Google Local Guides important local influencers, able to help shape which local businesses are popular, thanks to the trust consumers naturally place in information shared by peers, rather than brands.
Google describes its Local Guides as a community. Members of the community are local consumers who go out and rate local businesses, take photos, share their experiences, leave reviews, answer questions based on their direct knowledge of those businesses, add places not listed on Maps, and check facts.
The rewards system tells us this work is meaningful to Google, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. Guides act as an army of fact-checkers and researchers with boots on the ground around the world. Guides hit the streets specifically searching for, noting down, and uploading local business information in real-time. They are a hive mind for the search engine, helping it to ensure its Maps product is more accurate, more up-to-date and superior to rival offerings.
It’s not a stretch to say that the work Guides do in their towns and cities around the world powers the whole Maps ecosystem.
Google Local Guide reviews are given priority when it comes to reviews displayed in Google My Business. Google Local Guides perform an important duty for Google Maps, offering reviews, editing incorrect information, adding missing places, and sharing images and videos. This insight is useful for local consumers and the gamification of the system makes it a fun way for committed search users to get involved with Google products.
I absolutely LOVE being a Google Local Guide, and am often asked for my recommendations. If you have any questions around this please do send me a message.
To check out all my reviews please click here.