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Google Gamifies Local Guides Program To Expand Reach | DrivingSales News

Google Gamifies Local Guides Program To Expand Reach

November 16, 2015 0 Comments

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Google created a program a couple of years ago called City Experts with the intention of accelerating its acquisition of “high-quality” local business reviews. Rewards were offered based on the number of reviews that a user submitted, provided that they met with Google’s quality guidelines, such as having the opportunity after 50 reviews to become part of a Google+ community and get invited to exclusive local events.

Now that the company has shifted away from Google+, it renamed the program earlier this year to Local Guides and revamped its incentives in an effort to broaden participation and the types of content that are collected. Users are now able to earn points for photos, reviews and other contributions to Google Maps local business search. In other words, the company is “gamifying” its Local Guides program to expand its reach and influence, and to better compete with Yelp’s “Elites” program.

Although advancing through levels was already an aspect of being a “Local Guide,” Google’s new update changed the number of points that are required to reach each level, as well as the perks that come with it.

Google announced that the levels and new point system are as follows:

Level 1 (0 – 4 points): Enter exclusive contests in select countries.

Level 2 (5 – 49 points): Get early access to new Google products and features.

Level 3 (50 – 199 points): Show up in the Google Maps app with your official Local Guides badge.

Level 4 (200 – 499 points): Receive a free 1 TB upgrade of your Drive storage, allowing you to keep all the stories, photos, and videos from your travels in one safe place.

Level 5 (500+ points): The very top Local Guides will become eligible to apply to attend our inaugural summit in 2016, where you’ll be able to meet other top Guides from around the world, explore the Google campus, and get the latest info about Google Maps.

A lot of people are significantly enticed by the possibility of earning rewards, and Google is offering some fairly substantial items that may pique a wider range of interest in contributing based on the incentives that are available. As indicated, the reward system is now based on points that can be earned in various ways, as opposed to only by contributing reviews as was the case in the past.

“You can earn points and level up by writing reviews, uploading photos, adding new places, fixing outdated information, and answering simple questions,” wrote Google in a blog post. “Each contribution type is worth one point, so you can earn up to five points per place.”

The fact that Google now gives points to rank users will allow those who find reviews or tips to know whether or not the information originates from a legitimate member of the community.

“The best things in life are sometimes harder to find,” Google said in a video presentation. “So, let’s take a moment to celebrate. Here’s to the local guides who never stop exploring. Every photo, review and tip they add helps others feel at home and helps local businesses grow.”

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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