Google Wants to Connect You With a Plumber

Google will vet listings that connect users with plumbers, handymen, locksmiths, and house cleaners.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.pcmag.com

A new service from Google wants to connect you with reputable home services right from its search results page. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the search giant will add listings to its sponsored results that connect users with plumbers, handymen, locksmiths, and house cleaners that have been vetted by Google.  Right now, it’s only live in San Francisco. But Google users there will be able to search for help and contact those listed in Google’s search results without ever leaving the page, the Journal said.   The move is part of Google’s AdWord Express for small businesses, and participants must pass a background check and other tests before being added to search results.   The move could be a headache for rival services like Angie’s List or Yelp, as well as start-ups like TaskRabbit and Handy.
Yelp has taken Google to task for favoring its own products in its search results. A Yelp-sponsored study released in June argued that Google knowingly serves up its own content in search results, even when it’s not as good as competing sites, and consumers are being harmed by this anticompetitive behavior.  Back in 2011, Yelp also faced off against Google on Capitol Hill and accused it of threatening to pull Yelp content from search entirely if Yelp didn’t allow Google to use Yelp content on its Place pages.  That and other complaints have prompted an EU investigation into Google’s search tactics; it was cleared of any wrongdoing in the U.S.  But larger rivals are also dabbling in home services. In March, Amazon got into the handyman business with Amazon Home Services, a new marketplace for on-demand professional assistance. The site lets you find professionals in your area that can help you with all kinds of chores around the house — from gutter cleaning and TV wall mounting to iPhone repair and car stereo installation

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