Google Maps has become an essential application within Google’s strategy. Therefore, more and more improvements are introduced in it, as they have recently been presented in the Google I / O 2019. For a while, we can see how restaurants, bars, cafes and leisure in general are gaining presence in the app, which seeks to be used to guide you on where to go out to eat. In this sense, Local Guides is something of importance.
Then we tell you all about Local Guides, a program you have probably heard about on occasion. Clearly linked to Google Maps, its importance has also been increasing, so it is important to know more about it.
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What is Local Guides?
Local Guides is the program that is responsible for manage user opinions about sites in those who have been. Google Maps allows users to rate sites they have been to, such as restaurants, attractions, coffee shops, hotels or even stores. Therefore, some valuations of these sites are generated, which act as a recommendation for people who may have an interest in going to them. Since users often rely on other people's experiences.
Through this program, these assessments are managed. Users can create a Google account profile and leave ratings later using Local Guides. The idea is that as more valuations are left, it can be promoted within this program, which makes our valuations more reliable. In theory it is so because it follows that a person with a higher rank has a higher criterion.
The valuations we make will add points, which is what helps us to go up positions in Local Guides. There are a number of levels available within this program. In order to upload, you must write reviews, upload photos of sites, or add or edit new sites on Google Maps. Also answering user questions helps us to have a more prominent profile.
How Local Guides works
The first thing we have to do is create a Google account, which most of us already have and use. Then, we can join the program easily on your own website, in this link. In this way, once the profile information is completed, it is already possible start using Local Guides at all times. You just have to fulfill some of the functions expected of these people. Offer site ratings, upload photos of them, respond to comments, verify that site descriptions are true, etc.
As more contributions are added, level may be gained within the program. The lower levels do not usually offer any distinction with respect to other users, because it is easy to move forward. Level 4 acts in some way as a barrier, since at this level a badge of distinction is introduced for the first time in the profile. So it differs from other users and opinions are shown as made by a Local Guide.
The idea is that people who use Google Maps and click on that site, will be able to read our ratings. Local Guides are expected to give real ratings on the site, which have been there. Since these sites (hotels, restaurants or attractions) get scores, which in some cases can cause people to decide whether or not to go.
People who are part of this Local Guides program do not charge money. Although from time to time it is possible to get some rewards. These include early access to Google features, plus special discounts, partner offers or event invitations. So it has some advantages of interest to users.
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All the assessments we make at Local Guides are giving us points. Although depending on the action, the amount of points earned is greater. If you want to leave only ratings, there are always some tips. It is convenient to be long (200 characters at least), in addition to having photos. In this way, it is possible to get more points than with a short review. They are tricks of interest in this regard.
The scoring system has been modified on occasion. It is likely that in the future it will happen again, but today these are the points that are given. So they serve us as an orientation of what to expect:
- Opinion on a site: 10 points for each opinion
- Opinion with more than 200 characters: 10 additional points for each opinion
- Classification: 1 point for each classification
- Answer: 1 point for each answer offered
- Answer questions and answers: 3 points per answer given to user questions in the ratings
- Edition: 5 points for each time information on a site is edited
- New place: 15 points for each new place added on Google Maps (attractions, hotels, restaurants, shops, bars …)
- New routes: 15 points for each new route added in the application
- Data verification: 1 point for each time data from somewhere is verified
- Photo: 5 points for each photo uploaded from a site or in the valuation
- Video: 7 points for each video uploaded on a site or on a specific assessment
Ideally, combine some of them in Local Guides, to get more points. A long opinion, of more than 200 characters, in addition to some photo or video, is a good way to get a lot of points quickly. These types of combinations allow to rise as soon as possible.
Levels at Local Guides
As we mentioned, there are a number of levels within Local Guides. Getting points in this program will allow us to move forward between these levels in a simple way. There are currently a total of 10 levels, although there are few people at level 10. Each level has a necessary amount of points. These are the criteria today:
- Level 1: 0 points
- To reach Level 2 you have to have 15 points
- Level 3 having 75 points
- Level 4 when you have 250 points
- To reach Level 5 500 points are needed
- You get Level 6 reaching 1,500 points
- Level 7 Obtained upon reaching 5,000 points
- Level 8 reached when it reaches 15,000 points
- Level 9 you get 50,000 points in your Local Guides profile
- To have Level 10 you have to reach 100,000 points
Starting at level 6 is when it becomes difficult to move forward. But people who visit many sites and have a very active profile in Local Guides, can advance at a good pace within this program. It will depend on the use made of it, and on the combinations that are used to obtain more points.
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Is Local Guides reliable?
When we search for a site on Google Maps, we tend to check people's ratings They've been to that site. This helps us to decide whether or not we go to the site in question. So it is something with enough influence, especially if it is negative ratings that have a specific site.
Unfortunately, Local Guides is something that has a major flaw. You can't control if a person has actually been to a site, unless there are photos or a video that shows it. So it is possible that people who have not gone can leave ratings (both good and bad). This is something that can greatly affect some sites, for better or worse.
The normal thing is that people with a higher rank in Local Guides give reliable opinions. But it is good to consult other sites, apart from Google Maps, to know if it is worth going to a site or not. Other sites such as Tripadvisor or Booking (in the case of hotels) can also be very helpful in this process. In general, we can rely on the opinions on Maps, but they should not be our only source.