Google Local Guides Program vs. SEO

Google Local Guides is a community that is gaining increasing interest. Check how you can benefit from this program in your business

What is the Google Local Guides Program all about? Can you leverage it for SEO? Can contributing to the development of the Google community, sharing information, and enhancing maps benefit your local business? It’s a simple but creative marketing idea for a small business. Read our article, and you’ll learn how to become a Google Local Guide and understand how you can both benefit and contribute to the community.

Who is a Google Local Guide?

Local Guides are a community active on Google Maps. They make changes and improve maps, earning points and rewards in return. Additionally, there is a community forum where you can meet interesting people or participate in local events. The program also allows you to earn badges, depending on the type of content you publish, such as:

  • verifying the accuracy of data,
  • adding new information, roads, and places,
  • rating visited businesses,
  • posting photos and videos,
  • answering questions,
  • publishing lists and their descriptions.

Levels and Badges of Local Guides

Becoming a Local Guide doesn’t happen immediately upon joining the community. First, you need to accumulate a certain number of points, equivalent to the fourth level. Of course, the higher the level, the more points you need to earn. As getting positive Google Business reviews takes time, provided strategy also isn’t a quick marketing remedy but medium-term time investment.

Google Local Guides can collect points in many ways – from providing reviews about a place to recording videos or creating lists. However, it’s essential to note that you can’t combine actions and points from multiple Google accounts. Only those awarded for specific actions on one account count towards the Local Guide level.


The fundamental and perhaps the most popular way to collect points is by leaving reviews at visited places. However, it’s not about randomly recommending local businesses.

A Local Guide should contribute honest and detailed accounts of their experiences in a particular location. For instance, when in a restaurant, they often take photos of the dishes ordered or the menu, which they add to the review. Such a comprehensive review earns more points and helps the business owner gain better visibility on Google Maps.

However, remember that these cannot be photos you have posted on your business web hosting. You need to take separate photos that do not indicate any association with the specific business.


Google Local Guides don’t always add extensive reviews with a lot of information. Often, they limit themselves to a basic rating on a five-star scale. You’ve probably seen, or maybe even provided, this type of review. The maximum number of points you can earn for adding a recommendation is 21: 1 for rating, 10 for comprehensive content, and 10 for a review longer than 200 characters.

Photos and Videos

Guides can support their opinions by attaching credible, original photos. Each photo earns an additional 5 points. Moreover, photos are highly beneficial for other Google Maps users, providing almost certainty that the added review is authentic. Local Guides can also enrich Google Maps by adding standalone photos or videos. For each added photo, a user receives 5 points. Additionally, for each tag, they get 3 points. Adding a video is worth 7 points.

Answering Questions

An incredibly significant contribution, crucial in the program, is sharing reliable information with other users utilizing map services. One such form is responding to questions about a particular business. For answering a question, one can receive from 1 to 3 points, depending on the frequency of their occurrence.

You can earn points in the Google Local Guides program in various ways. One of them is by answering questions from other users.


A particular way in which Local Guides can verify information is by making changes to the Google My Business listing. In this section, they check the accuracy of content in the title, address, opening hours, and other data. It helps prevent spam and misinformation and ensures the safety of other users. For each edited piece of information, one receives 5 points. Confirmation of information, on the other hand, is rewarded with 1 point.

Added Places

Community participants can also add and share places on Google Maps with other users. Not all business owners know about Google My Business. Therefore, for example, when Local Guides know of a restaurant worth visiting that doesn’t have a listing, they can create a new place and add all the necessary details, including contact information and photos of the restaurant. Adding a new place or road earns an impressive 15 additional points!

Published Lists

Local Guides can also create lists of places on Google Maps. Lists are compilations of a user’s favorite places, either those they have personally visited or intend to visit. Users can add notes to specific places and describe the entire list. Local Google Guides can keep such a list private or publish it for other users. Publishing a list earns 10 points, and adding a description to a list is worth 5 points.

Google Local Guide – Benefits for SEO and Business

You’re probably wondering: what benefits and rewards does the program offer? Contrary to appearances, quite a lot! A high-ranking and authoritative Google Local Guide receives early access to new features, badges that make their published content more visible, and invitations to events in their area.

As you climb the ranks, you can not only gain satisfaction from achieving a high level or the awareness that you’re assisting others in using services from specific businesses. You can also start promoting your business by adding favorable and persuasive reviews.

Reviews from the top Google Local Guides are rewarded by Google, increasing the local SEO ranking in Google Maps for a particular place. Furthermore, it’s your review that will be displayed at the top of your business listing, giving you significant influence and control over what your customers read. Collaborating with a small business SEO agency can further enhance your local SEO efforts, driving more traffic and visibility.

Many customers, when looking for reviews about a particular place, only read them until they find a review that, in their opinion, shows the true nature of the place. Boosting your Google Local Guide ranking opens up opportunities for targeted advertising and promotions for your business.

The strategy presented here is just a supplement to the marketing strategy for small brick-and-mortar businesses. Remember to also take care of a professionally prepared Google My Business account and the creation of a representative website. You don’t need to buy expensive and high-performance servers; a cheap WordPress hosting is sufficient for running a simple website.

Show Your Business in the Online World

The visibility of your business online is no longer a competitive advantage; it’s a way to survive in business. For customers to find you in search engines or on Google Maps, you need to focus on local SEO. One of the key elements of local SEO is connecting Google My Business with your website. Therefore, invest in affordable Managed WordPress Hosting and create your online presence.

Joining the Google Local Guides Program Conditions

Participation in the program is entirely free. You also don’t have to worry about complicated rules and regulations for using the community program. However, there are a few conditions you must meet to join.

  1. Local Guides must be at least 18 years old and have an active Google account.
  2. Only individuals can become Local Guides – contributions from business accounts are not counted towards the guide’s level or benefits.
  3. During participation in the program, you must not violate its rules regarding published content. Content should not include personal data or commercial materials, encourage harm, or defame.

Local Guides can check their activity level through Google Maps – simply log in to your Local Guide account, go to Maps, expand the menu on the left side of the screen, and enter the “Your contributions” section.


Google Local Guides is a community that is gaining increasing interest. Additionally, maps created by “ordinary” citizens have a more human and friendly character. The program is also a good way to express your opinion and show the world your experiences. You can add information while helping others and have a great time collecting points and badges, as well as reaching higher levels.

However, if you look at this program outside of the box, you’ll see a non-traditional opportunity for online marketing for your business.

The foundation is, of course, implementing basic SEO practices such as hosting the website on an SEO-optimized VPS server, creating engaging content, link-building, but these are actions that most companies do. If you perform Local Guides marketing strategy well, you can amplify the message of your Google My Business account and win the competitive battle for local search engine positioning.

Is your local business growing and expanding? If you want to move your business to the online world, UltaHost prepared for you fast VPS hosting. Get 24/7 support from our support team. Our powered infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance, and security. Let us show you the difference! Check out our plans!   


What is the Google Local Guides Program, and how does it benefit businesses?
Can being a Google Local Guide impact SEO for my business?
How can contributing to the Google Local Guides Program benefit my local business?
What are the requirements for joining the Google Local Guides Program?
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