What does "Google Screened" mean?

What does "Google Screened" mean?

 July 19, 2021

If you're in the real estate industry, you may have noticed a new type of ad at the top of Google's search results, identified as "Google Screened". You may be asking yourself... What are these "Google Screened" Ads? How do they work? Who is eligible?

Well, we did the research so you don't have to. Here's what we found...

"Google Screened" is a screening process for Google's Local Services Ads platform, so when you see ads identified as "Google Screened", you are actually seeing Local Services Ads.

When you sign up for Google's Local Services Ads, you automatically become a "Google Guaranteed" business. The Google Guarantee indicates that you have been vetted and approved by Google, and if a customer is unhappy with the quality of your work, Google may issue a refund for jobs booked through your Local Services Ads.

In a select number of industries (including Real Estate), Google takes it a step further, and conducts extensive background and license checks. It is this additional screening process that earns your business the "Google Screened" certification.

What are Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads is a relatively new advertising platform by Google, not to be confused with Google Ads (formerly "Google Adwords"). The two platforms do share some similarities (and even shared billing), but they are completely separate products with separate controls for budgeting and ad targeting. While Google Ads has long been one of the best places for Real Estate agents to spend their advertising dollars, the landscape is changing, particularly for local businesses, as Local Services Ads are now the most prominent ads above Google's search engine results for many keywords.

Local Services Ads differ from traditional Google Search Ads in a number of ways. For starters, they look a bit different, typically featuring a headshot / profile image, along with a Google Reviews rating, business hours, and more. But more importantly, they actually work different. The primary objective of these ads is NOT to send users to a website, but instead to initiate phone calls. This effectively means you are paying per lead instead of paying per click.

Who is eligible to be "Google Screened"?

The Google Screened certification is currently only available in the following professional service industries:

  • Law
  • Financial Planning
  • Real Estate

What is required to be "Google Screened"?

The Google Screened requirements are slightly different for each service industry. For real estate agents, the requirements are...

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • License checks for each real estate agent in the firm

For more information about "Google Screened", see Google's documentation:
Google Screened
Local Services Ads

Kevin Ashley

By Kevin Ashley

Kevin is a Web Developer and Marketing Expert for iHOUSEweb. He has a degree in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he specializes in front end web development, web advertising, and web analytics. Kevin works closely with real estate agents all over the US, and he helps to communicate their needs to the team of Software Engineers at iHOUSEweb.