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How To Earn Points & Badges

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How To Earn Points & Badges

Google depends on a community of dedicated volunteers all over the world to keep Search and Maps updated with current information about businesses, places, and local attractions.

Those volunteers are called Local Guides.

When you visit a new city and look up information about hotels and restaurants, there’s a good chance Google Local Guides have provided the information you need to make informed decisions.

Local Guides selflessly contribute reviews, photos, videos, and more all for the benefit of searchers like yourself.

Well, that’s almost true. Local Guides do receive virtual rewards for their services.

Google developed the Local Guides program to incentivize regular individuals to help keep Maps updated.

Local Guides are also called upon to verify information contributed by businesses is accurate.

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Anyone is eligible to join the Local Guide program – and if you contribute reviews to Google Maps already, you might as well get some recognition for it.

This article will go over what the Google Local Guide program is, how to join it, and what kinds of perks you can earn from it.

What Is The Google Local Guide Program?

The Google Local Guide program is a gamified system that rewards users for making contributions to Google Maps and Google Business Profiles.

As a Local Guide, you earn points for every contribution. After accumulating a set number of points you can progress to new levels of the program and unlock new badges.

Your badge is displayed next to your name in Google Maps when you leave a review or answer questions, so everyone will recognize you as a local expert.

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Points, Levels & Badges

Points can be earned with the following contributions to Google Maps:

  • Write a review – 10 points

  • Write a 200+ character review – 20 points

  • Rate a business – 1 point

  • Upload a photo – 5 points

  • Tag a photo – 3 points

  • Upload a video – 7 points

  • Respond to Q&As – 3 points

  • Edit information – 5 points

  • Add a place – 15 points

  • Add a road – 15 points 

  • Check a fact – 1 point

  • Publish an eligible list – 10 points

  • Write a description (in list) – 5 points

You’ll reach higher levels in the Local Guides program as you build up points.

At level four and higher, you’ll earn a badge that’s displayed next to your name when it appears in Google Maps.

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The levels of the local guides program are as follows:

  • Level 1 – 0 points
  • Level 2 – 15 points
  • Level 3 – 75 points
  • Level 4 – 250 points
  • Level 5 – 500 points
  • Level 6 – 1,500 points
  • Level 7 – 5,000 points
  • Level 8 – 15,000 points
  • Level 9 – 50,000 points
  • Level 10 – 100,000 points

In the past, Google offered bonuses to high-level Local Guides, such as free cloud storage and discounts in the Google Play store.

As the program grew Google phased out the extras and now only offers badges.

Local Guides occasionally receive early access to new Google features, though nothing is promised.

How To Join The Google Local Guides Program

Step One

Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022How To Join The Google Local Guides Program Step 1

Visit the Google Local Guides signup page and click on Get Started.

Step Two

How To Join The Google Local Guides Program Step 2Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022How To Join The Google Local Guides Program Step 2

Enter the name of your city and click on Become a Local Guide.

Step Three

How To Join The Google Local Guides Program Step 3Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022How To Join The Google Local Guides Program Step 3

Start earning points by making contributions to Google Maps.

In the dashboard, like the one shown above, you can keep track of your points and progress towards the next level.

If you allow Google to view your location history you’ll receive recommendations of places to review based on where you’ve been.

However, it’s not necessary to turn on location history tracking in order to participate in Local Guides. You can always look up locations manually and contribute to them.

In Summary

You can become a Google Local Guide by following a simple signup process that’s available to everyone with a Google account.

After making enough contributions to reach level four, a badge will appear next to your name when leaving reviews signifying to others you’re a Local Guide.

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The Local Guides program is Google’s way of recognizing those who keep Maps and Business Profiles updated with accurate information, fresh imagery, and insightful reviews.

It’s one more way of enhancing your online presence and standing out in the world’s top search engine.

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Featured Image: ViDl Studio/Shutterstock

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SEO

How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape

There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

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Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!
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As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

Read More On SEJ

Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

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So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

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Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

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AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

Read More On SEJ

Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

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The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

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