Next year Google is probably going to introduce advanced verification for certain trades in the UK to be able to show their business on Google. At present this is happening in the US for certain trades such as Locksmiths in particular.
Google sent an email out that said that they plan to introduce a more stringent business verification process which they are presently trialing in some US cities. It means that all the specific trades they are targeting will need to go through the new process. Failing to do will mean that they get removed from Google maps which as you can imagine is like death for any small business.
The process is apparently fairly simple and consists of a few questions from Google and an application with a verification service that is a Google recognised third party. The process takes about 14 days or so. Any new businesses will also have to go through the same process.
Adwords is not immune either and that will also have to go through a verification process. You can read more about the process here on Google My Business.
So why target Locksmiths for these checks?
The trouble with the locksmith industry is that its well known that a lot of locksmiths are not really genuine and carry out a lot of underhand scams and schemes which leave customers in the lurch often hundreds of pounds out of pocket, Google is very wise to these scams and is starting to take things like this much more seriously, after all it wants businesses on Google that are served to customers in their best interests.
As we all know it only takes a few rogue traders to ruin the business for everyone and we have seen this in the past with Double Glazing and the reputation it had in the past for bad selling practices.