Local Services ads
Advertisers must abide by:
Advertisers' workers who provide services must complete regular background checks, and companies must be approved by Google’s third-party security firm. Google doesn’t see the specific background check information of any individual worker or company and doesn’t restrict how advertisers price or perform their services.
This policy applies to all of the advertiser's employees, contractors (including subcontractors), or other workers who provide services in customers’ homes, workplaces, or other properties on behalf of the advertiser using the Local Services ads platform.
Local laws and regulations
You must comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which you provide or offer services through the Local Services ads program. You must comply with all relevant licensing or other regulatory requirements, and you are solely responsible for all compensation, licensing, regulatory fees or dues, insurance, or any other related costs and legal duties required of you as a service provider.
You and each of your customers must be 18 years of age or older.
Employees of Google and its affiliates may not provide services (or help you provide services) as part of the Local Services ads platform. You can't say or imply to anyone that you are an employee of Google or its affiliates, or that you otherwise work for Google or its affiliates. At all times you must ensure that each member of your team is properly classified and paid according to the applicable employment laws of your jurisdiction.
Minimum provider requirements (background checks)
You must satisfy Google’s Minimum Provider Requirements:
Cooperating with the background check process
- You and any employees, contractors (including subcontractors), or other workers who provide services in customers' homes, workplaces, or other properties must complete third-party background checks before you may participate in the Local Services ads program.
- Your company must remain in good standing with all background-check requirements as described below.
When Google’s designated third-party security firm (Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc.) conducts a background check, you and your workers must provide honest, complete, and accurate information. If circumstances change after a background check has been completed, you and your workers must immediately provide updated information to Pinkerton to ensure you remain eligible for Local Services ads. You can reach Pinkerton customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 785-7775, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern.
Keep Pinkerton informed of the number and identity of members of your team who provide services in customers’ homes, workplaces, or other properties. Be sure to provide updated numbers and identifying information to Pinkerton if you hire or use new workers. Again, you can reach Pinkerton customer support at email@example.com or (410) 785-7775 to provide this information.
You must fully cover all costs associated with background checks (unless Google works out an alternative arrangement with you).
For each worker, the background check includes inquiries about Social Security number validity and criminal history (including cross-checks against national sex offender and terrorist/sanctions registries). At the company level, the process also includes professional license and insurance verifications, as well as civil litigation history (including judgments and liens from federal and state courts).
Google has engaged Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations, Inc. to conduct background checks and to help determine, based on the General Google Criteria described below, which businesses are eligible to use Local Services ads. Google doesn’t see the specific background check information of any individual worker or company, and you are prohibited from sharing such information with Google.
Adjudication decisions are based on the following general criteria provided by Google (“General Google Criteria”):
- Full, complete, and accurate answers to all background check and related questions.
- Honest and up-to-date disclosures about government documents (Examples: Social Security numbers, federal or state identification numbers, professional licenses, or insurance certifications).
- No criminal history that demonstrates a risk to the safety or security of persons or property.
- No civil litigation history that demonstrates negligent or substandard performance of services.
Your company also may be disqualified for any other reason consistent with the General Google Criteria or Minimum Provider Requirements.
Eligibility decisions are made at the company level, not at the individual employee, contractor, subcontractor, or worker level.
Example: You own a business with 10 workers who clean customers’ homes. You work solely in the office, not in the field. Eligibility will be based on the results of your background check, the background checks of all 10 workers who clean customers’ homes, and the company-level check of your business (for valid licensure, insurance, and civil litigation history).
If you have questions about the adjudication process, please direct inquiries to Pinkerton’s compliance department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 635-1649, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern.
Only your workers who have been properly background checked may provide services in your customers’ homes, workplaces, or other properties that were referred through Google’s Local Services ad platform.
Example: You employ one dispatcher (who doesn’t provide services in customers’ homes or workplaces) and 10 workers in the field who serve customers. Your 10 workers properly completed background checks and your company was approved to use Local Services ads. You may not send the dispatcher to serve customers referred through Google’s Local Services ad platform because the dispatcher didn’t complete a background check.
If you hire additional workers (beyond the 10 who already completed a background check), you may not send those additional workers into customers’ homes until they complete background checks (and your company continues to satisfy the Minimum Provider Requirements).
After your company has been approved to use Local Services ads, you must promptly notify Pinkerton of any circumstances (of your company or your workers) that could change the outcome of the previous background check approval. Examples of such circumstances include:
- You hire a new employee (or retain a new contractor) to perform services in customers’ homes, workplaces, or other properties referred through the Local Services ad platform.
- One of your existing employees or contractors (who performs services in the field) is convicted of a crime.
- One of your government-issued licenses expires, is suspended, or otherwise ceases to be current and active.
- Your insurance coverage lapses, is suspended, ceases to be current and active, or otherwise changes by 5% or more.
- Your business is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit alleging negligent or substandard performance of services.
To report changed circumstances, please contact Pinkerton customer support at email@example.com or (410) 785-7775, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern.
After your company has been approved to use Local Services ads, you will be asked to recertify that approval every 3 months to keep your information accurate and up-to-date, and to remain eligible to advertise on the Local Services ads platform. You will only recertify if you continue to comply with all Minimum Provider Requirements, including the following criteria:
- You haven’t hired any new workers during the last reporting period who will perform services in customer’s homes or workplaces referred through the Local Services ad platform.
- Every worker you are sending to customers’ homes and workplaces are the same workers who were originally background checked and approved.
- There are no circumstances (of your company or your workers) that could change the outcome of the previous background check approval.
Example: You employ 5 workers who provide services in customers’ homes. On January 1, all 5 workers complete background checks and your company satisfies the Minimum Provider Requirements. On March 15, you hire a sixth worker to provide services in customers’ homes but you forget to ask that new worker to complete a background check with Pinkerton. You can’t recertify your background check status until your new worker completes a background check.
Example: You employ 12 workers who provide services in customers’ homes. On April 1, all 12 workers complete background checks and your company satisfies the Minimum Provider Requirements. On June 15, one of your 12 workers is convicted of a crime. You can’t recertify your background check status until you notify Pinkerton and receive updated confirmation that your company continues to satisfy the Minimum Provider Requirements.
Example: You are a sole proprietor. On January 1, you submit a background check to Pinkerton and you are approved to advertise. On March 15, your professional/trade license is revoked. You can’t recertify your background check status until you complete an updated background check with Pinkerton.
Independent of the recertification process described above, background checks will expire after one year. You and your workers must complete new background checks before your current background checks expire.
Pinkerton is prohibited from sharing individual or company background check information with anyone other than the individual or company whose background was checked. Google receives notification from Pinkerton that a company is (or isn’t) eligible for Local Services ads based on the General Google Criteria described above, but Google doesn’t see the specific background check information of any individual worker or company. You can’t share the results of any individual worker’s background check with Google.
If you are an employer or business owner, also note that Pinkerton is prohibited from sharing your workers’ background check results with you. If you wish to see your workers’ background check results, you’ll need their permission or you must perform your own check.
Google and its vendors (including Pinkerton) may conduct audits to ensure compliance with Minimum Provider Requirements. To remain in good standing as a Local Services ads advertiser, be sure to fully cooperate with all audits.
For more information about background checks, contact Pinkerton’s customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 785-7775, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern..
Required disclosures and other responsibilitiesRequired disclosures
Your Local Services ads and the information you provide to Google when creating those ads must be accurate, complete, and not misleading. At all times you must follow the AdWords Advertising Policies.
Example: As explained in the policy governing Misrepresentation of self, product, or service, any prices that you present to customers on the Local Services ads platform must be inclusive of all applicable fees, surcharges, and taxes.
Upon request, you must provide Google and its vendors (including Pinkerton) with proof of licensure, insurance, bonding, and related requirements. Google may publicly post these documents on the home service ads platform.
You must maintain all required and appropriate insurance coverage and licenses for the types of services you provide. You will fully cooperate with any follow-up questions from Pinkerton about these topics and related responsibilities.
You must protect the privacy and legal rights of your customers. You are solely responsible for the personal data you collect in relation with your services, and you must comply with all relevant data protection laws.
When you provide services, your customers are not Google’s customers. You can’t claim to work for Google, and you can’t involve Google in any service issues between you and your customers. If a dispute arises, the customer may use the Local Services ads platform to find an alternative service provider, but we won’t help resolve any issues between you and your customer.
Google won’t recommend prices or fees for services and won’t negotiate prices with your customers.
You are solely responsible for deciding which referrals to accept or reject from Local Services ads.
You are solely responsible for training, instructing, monitoring, evaluating, and disciplining your workers who interact with customers. Serious or repeatedly negative customer feedback — or repeatedly failing to promptly respond to customer requests — may result in lower ad rankings, removal of the option to receive message requests, or your ad not showing at all. Egregious or repeatedly inappropriate conduct towards customers — such as fraud, criminal activity, excessive property damage, or related misconduct — may be grounds for immediate suspension or termination from the program.
Google will show your ads on our platform and we’ll help customers find you and set up appointments. The rest is up to you.
Keep in mind
Google doesn't dictate how you choose your customers, so you can’t suggest to customers that Google told you which requests to accept or reject. Be careful not to imply that Google influences the pricing of your services or how those services are performed.
The following are not allowed for Local Services ads advertisers:
You can’t alter, interfere with, or otherwise tamper with customer reviews of your services or the services of your competitors. You can ask a user to submit a review on Google, but only if they booked the job through a Google platform or booked the job directly through you (for example, if they found you through word of mouth or a general web search). You can’t ask a user to submit a review on Google if they booked the job through a non-Google platform.
Unauthorized use of Google branding and trademarks
You can’t use the Google logo or other brand elements without permission. If you wish to use any of Google’s brand features on your website or other public materials, read Google's brand-usage guidelines.
Multi-use AdWords accounts
If you’re a first-time AdWords user with a new account created specifically for Local Services ads, you may not use your new AdWords account for non-HSA advertising. If you wish to run non-HSA ads, create a separate AdWords account.
What happens if you violate our policies
If you violate our policies, you may be subject to one or more of the following:
- Ad disapproval: Local Services ads that don't follow our policies may get disapproved. Disapproved ads won't be able to run until the policy violation is fixed and the ad is approved.
- Domain disabling: We may suspend websites that violate our policies, meaning that the website can no longer be advertised until the problem is fixed.
- Account suspension: An account may get suspended if you have several violations or a serious violation. If this happens, all ads in the suspended account will stop running, and we may no longer accept advertising from you. Any related accounts may also get permanently suspended and your new accounts may get automatically suspended at setup. Learn more about suspended accounts.