How often do you use Google Maps to search for local shops or to find directions to a new place?
Let us guess, quite often, right? And why not? The easy-to-understand directions and convenient functionality offered by Google Maps make our daily lives better. Besides providing directions, this impressive app offers information on closing times for shops, reviews and other vital details.
Also; yes, there is more! You can actively contribute to this platform and earn rewards through the Google Local Guide Program. Sounds impressive, right?
Well, without wasting any more time, let’s dive into this blog to gain an in-depth understanding of the Google Local Guide Program. From benefits to its intricate aspects, levels, badges and more, we will cover everything to help you grasp the concept better!
0.1- Google Local Guide Program – an insight
It was in 2013 when Google first launched a program named Google City Experts. This program encouraged and rewarded users for posting images and reviews on Google Maps. But, this program was quite exclusive. For instance, it was only limited to a few major cities and even had a high entry barrier.
In 2015, Google re-launched this program with a new name, Google Guides Program, as we all know it now. This program has a similar purpose but is available to a broad user base.
Now, to answer your question, “What is Google Local Guide?” The aim behind this community-driven initiative was to enhance both the accuracy and quality of details available on Google Maps. This program empowers ordinary users and turns them into local experts who create relevant and up-to-date information for residents and travellers.
As a local Google Map guide, you can engage in wide range of activities, including –
- Reviewing businesses
- Uploading photos
- Answering questions
- Suggesting edits to place information
- Adding new places to the Google Maps
The collective efforts made by Google local guides create an inclusive and trustworthy database, thereby enriching the experience of diverse users.
0.1.1- Why Google Local Guides Matter?
Google considers its local guides as a community. The members of this community are people like us who explore and rate local businesses. As mentioned earlier, it is possible to find many details on Google Maps. How is that possible? Of course, through images uploaded, reviews shared, and questions answered by the members. In fact, the members can add new places that aren’t already listed and even check facts.
In short, guides act as researchers and fact-checkers who actually explore the grounds. They hit the street with the aim to search, note down and upload local business information in real time. Guides help search engines in ensuring the maps product is superior, accurate and up-to-date compared to rival offerings.
The best part is that local guides are rewarded with perks, badges and points for their involvement.
Note: Actions that guides conduct aren’t restricted just to those who register for the program. You can perform various similar functions even without signing up as the local guide. For instance, you can leave a review, upload images, ask a question, suggest an edit and so on. It is just that your contribution won’t get linked to gamification. This means, you won’t earn points and rewards.
0.2- The many perks of being a local guide on Google
As a Google Local Guide, you are bound to obtain multiple Google Local Guide perks in the form of –
0.2.1- Recognition in the community
One of the most apparent perks you obtain being a local Google Map guide is the recognition from the Google Maps community. The contributions you make in the form of helpful photos, detailed reviews and precise information, establishes you as a trusted source of local information.
Since users often seek assistance from local guides, you opinions can come in handy to them to make informed choices about local shops and places.
0.2.2- Personal satisfaction
The contributions you make to the Google Maps community can prove deeply rewarding on a personal level. You will feel satisfied, knowing your efforts are assisting your fellow local residents and travellers to experience the best the community has to offer.
It is an excellent way of showcasing your love for your city, region or neighbourhood.
0.2.3- Access to new features
The search engine giant values the contributions made by the local guides. And hence, as a token of appreciation, it often grants guides with rewards. Are you wondering, “What are the Google local guide rewards?”
They include early access to new updates and features in Google Maps.
This means, as a guide, you can use advanced tools and functionalities before anyone else. Plus, the feedback you make on these new features can be used for development and refinement.
0.2.4- Invitation to events
Once you gain Google’s trust as a local guide, you can be invited to exclusive Google-organized events and gatherings, too. These events can prove to be the best way of mingling with fellow contributors, sharing experiences and learning from the staff.
Events can help you deepen your knowledge of Google services and local mapping by allowing you to meet with like-minded people.
0.2.5- Community involvement
With this program, Google aims to create a community of individuals with the knack to improve Google Maps. Besides connecting with your fellow local guides, you can exchange ideas and insights and even collaborate on certain projects, thereby further enhancing the local content.
The sense of belonging created through the Google Local Guide program can further motivate you to be better!
0.2.6- Levels and rewards
It is common for guides to question, “Do Google local guides get paid?”
Well, not in money but definitely in levels and rewards. The contributions you make through the program can help you earn local guide points. These points determine your level as a local guide.
With each levels, the Google Local Guide rewards become increasingly valuable. These may include, extended storage on Google One, discounts on services offered by Google, etc. The higher your level becomes, the better your rewards become!
0.2.7- Tangible perks
Based on the local businesses that participate and your location, you may also get to experience tangible benefits. For instance, you can get discounts for your local shops and restaurants, free movie tickets or special offers from local businesses.
While you may feel unmotivated, given the answer to your question, “Do Google local guides get paid?” is a NO, these Google Local Guide benefits can add real-world value to your time and contribution.
0.2.8- Enhanced digital presence
The photos and reviews you add on Google Maps are accessed by many people online. This means your job as a local guide will definitely enhance your online presence. In case you own a business or wish to establish a popular digital footprint, this contribution will establish you as an expert in the field.
0.3- An in-depth analysis of Google Local Guide Points, Badges and Levels
As mentioned earlier, the Google Local Guide Program offers points to users who make contributions. This point-based system helps guides determine their level and the benefits of Google Local Guide level.
Here is an in-depth analysis of “What is Google local guide points system? –
You can collect points on Google Maps by writing reviews, adding photos, fixing info, and answering questions. The more useful your contributions, the more points you get. Each type of contribution has its own point value.
Are you wondering, “How many levels in Google Local Guide?” There are a few different levels, starting from Level 1 to Level 10. As you gather points, you move up the levels. Higher levels will bring you more substantial rewards and recognition.
Here is an overview of the Google local guide levels and the points required to reach them –
- Level 1: 0 – 4 points – the newbie badge; gain access to Google-hosted events and the Local Guides community.
- Level 2: 5 – 49 points – the rookie badge; gain early access to some Google products.
- Level 3: 50 – 199 points – the pro badge; increased Google Drive storage and gain the ability to attend Google events that are exclusive and available in your area.
- Level 4: 200 – 499 points – the expert badge; gain more Google Drive storage
- Level 5: 500 – 999 points – the master badge; gain the opportunity to get featured on the Google Maps app along with all the benefits listed above.
- Level 6: 1,000 – 4,999 points
- Level 7: 5,000 – 19,999 points
- Level 8: 20,000 – 49,999 points
- Level 9: 50,000 – 99,999 points
- Level 10: 100,000+ points
With each level, you unlock badges that show your contributions. These Google Local Guide badges are the visual representations of your dedication and expertise as a local guide.
“Reviewer,” “Photographer,” “Explorer,” and “Trailblazer” are some of the popular badges.
0.4- 10 easy steps for joining the Google Local Guide Program
Are you keen on joining the Google Local Guide Program? Here are 10 easy steps to do so –
4.1- To begin your journey as a local guide, you need to create a Google Account. If you have one, great, if you don’t, just visit the Google account creation page to create one.
4.2- Since the Local Guide program is mobile-based, having the app downloaded is imperative. If you don’t have the app yet, get it installed from the Play Store.
4.3- Now, launch the application and sign in to your account.
4.4- Once you are in the app, tap on the “contribute” button. It should appear at the bottom of the screen. On clicking, you will be provided with a menu that features various options for contributing to the Maps.
4.5- Select the “Join Local Guides” option from the “contribute” menu. This way your process of becoming a local guide on Google Maps will start.
4.6- Before proceeding further, you will be provided with the terms and conditions of the Local Guides Program. Ensure that you carefully read it and then click “Accept” if you agree.
4.7- Once that is done, you will be requested to set up a profile for your Local Guide program. You may require adding basic information about yourself along with a profile picture.
4.8- With a profile set up, you can now officially designate yourself as a local guide. Starting now, you can contribute to Google Maps, either by uploading pictures, writing reviews, addressing concerns or adding new places.
4.9- With every contribution you make, you will earn points. These points will determine your level as a local guide. The higher your level, the more benefits and rewards you will have access to.
4.10- You can regularly connect with your local guides and join community forums, events, etc. You can even share your experience, take advice or ask questions from your fellow contributors.
0.5- Tips and tricks for earning Local Guide Points
Points are inevitable to obtain real-world benefits from your contributions. Here are some tricks and tips on how to effectively use Google earn points –
- Earn one point – Did you love the recent Thai Restaurant you visited? Leave ratings! With every star rating you give to your local business, you gain one point.
- Earn three points – Answering questions from travellers and explorers on Google Maps can help you earn a maximum of three points.
- Earn five points – For every picture you leave on Google Maps, you gain the chance of earning five points. These pictures can be of anything from storefronts to menus, features and even accessibility ramps. Any photo that showcases or offers visuals details of the shop or place in question is enough. Just ensure to not post selfies.
- Earn seven points – Although photos give a gist of the place, videos tend to make an additional impact. Add a video capturing the essence of the location in under 30 seconds and gain the chance to earn seven points.
- Earn ten points – Of course, ratings are nice, but they aren’t as impactful as written reviews. Hence, guides gain ten points for every review of 200 characters long. So, ensure to write descriptive detail of why one must visit the place in question.
- Earn 15 points – We live in a dynamic world that changes every now and then. For instance, new businesses open on a daily basis, and roads get built regularly, too. To upgrade your Google Maps local guide badge promptly, consider adding new places to the maps.
0.6- What rewards do you get for being a local guide?
When the program got initially launched, guides typically received free rewards like a tote bag or socks from Google. Even perks like invitations to exclusive meet-ups or access to beta services were a common thing.
However, today, Google makes the use of gamified incentives. These include virtual points and Google badges, along with early access to yet-to-be-launched Google features. When the guides reach higher levels, they are often provided tangible rewards. For instance, you get the chance to give a boost to your favourite local business. Before spending money, most map users prefer checking Google Business profiles. With user-generated content like reviews, videos or photos, the business becomes visible on Google’s local search results. This, in turn, elevates the popularity of your favourite local business.
0.7- Tips for maximizing points and badges
Do you wish to become a highly regarded local guide to experience the benefits associated with it? Use the tips listed below for the same –
- Always prioritize quality over quantity. Consider writing detailed and well-written reviews. If possible, add high-quality photos and videos to help fellow Maps users. This gesture of yours will go beyond trying to accumulate points. It will assist fellow users in gaining accurate and up-to-date information.
- Be honest and helpful with reviews, given authenticity reigns over everything any day.
- Maintain consistency in your contributions by regularly contributing through the program.
- Diversify your contributions by exploring new places in your locality. If you think something new is open and isn’t explored or discussed about by other guides, leave your comfort zone and check out the same. This way, you can make a new entry for the place on Google Maps.
- Engage with the community by getting involved in discussions, attending available meet-ups, and supporting your fellow guides. The more you get involved, the more knowledge you will gain.
- If possible, verify and update information continuously. This way, you can maintain accuracy. It is imperative to fact-check and research things you have posted earlier and make changes whenever required.
- Avoid any Google violations by getting familiar with Google’s content and conduct guidelines. This way, you can avoid any altercations with the search engine giant and maintain your authority.
0.8- Common Badge Types
Badges showcase more than just your achievements. They indicate your expertise in a different range of areas. Listed below are common types of Google badges and their significance –
- Explorer Badge: Get it by adding your first place on Google Maps.
- Photographer Badge: Earned when you upload a certain number of photos to Google Maps.
- Reviewer Badge: Given for writing a certain number of reviews.
- Fact Finder Badge: Awarded for providing info like opening hours or addresses.
- Rising Star Badge: Recognizes consistent activity and engagement in the Local Guides community.
- Expert Badge: Earned by showing expertise in a specific category or location.
- Trailblazer Badge: Recognizes those who make big contributions to places that haven’t been reviewed before.
1- On an ending note
The Google Local Guides Program is a medium created by the search engine giant to recognize people who keep business profiles and maps up-to-date with accurate details, insightful reviews and crisp imagery. With your simple contribution, you can become a local guide, earn perks and make huge impacts on the experience of people using Google Maps across borders.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow the tips listed above now! Embrace the Google Maps Local Guides program and help people make informed decisions.