Google Partnering with HomeAdvisor to Add Services Booking to Local

CNBC is reporting that “as of today, homeowners searching for contractors on Google will be shown results that are “HomeAdvisor screened and approved” and come with profiles, price estimates and the ability to “book now” or schedule an appointment to compare estimates for work”.

This appears to be a new ad format although as of yet there are no details what it costs and where the payment is made. It is not clear if the process is completely driven by HomeAdvisor or if the business needs to interact with Google directly. It is also not clear what happens if the selected business is not immediately responsive. Does the request go to the next plumber in HomeAdvisor’s queue.

I have yet to see a live example of the booking screen but here is the screen example shown in the CNBC article:

google-ad

This comes on the heals of IAC’s offer to buy Angies List and merge it with HomeAdvisor. ┬áIAC has taken an offer directly to Angie’s List stock holders at a 10% premium over the current price. Together the combined entity would have $700 million in annual revenue.

Interestingly Google has previously invested in home services startup Thumbtack and has continued their own HSA test in the San Francisco market. They seem to be pulling out all of the stops in going toe to toe with Amazon.

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Google Partnering with HomeAdvisor to Add Services Booking to Local by

18 thoughts on “Google Partnering with HomeAdvisor to Add Services Booking to Local”

  1. What an absolute nightmare! Homeadvisor has a horrible reputation in the service industry and constantly caters to lowball offers! I tried their program a few years back and was not impressed. Bad move Google!

  2. The large monopolistic web businesses are gobbling up a piece of any area of consumer spending where there are large sums of monies being spent and where the large web presences can take their piece of the pie.

    Amazon, google, facebook and apple via its devices (mostly mobiles). They are also aggressively taking stands against one another.

    Beware consumers, beware small businesses.

    The US feds are sitting on their butts doing nothing

  3. @Daniel
    Yes, in Google picking winners and losers there is market distortions letting crappy companies with crappy policies rise to the top by virtue of scale and not good service.

    @Dave
    Certainly moving forward Google is going to leverage their web monopoly for greater income.

    That is the prerogative of the market leader and their necessity to maximize income as the world moves beyond peak Google.

    In an of itself it is not a violation of monopoly laws although to the poor plumber that is forced to give up a % of every transaction to HomeAdvisor it sure feels like it.

  4. Noooooooo Google+! From a small business (1 man shop) and me the wife that tries to drum up business. We do awesome, quality, cedar woodwork. We have repeat and referred to us customers. We’d like to tap in to some new customers and don’t always have the funds to pay for ad sense, ppc or take a cut in pay that results from these services. I’ll just do the old school way of advertising and forget about all this nonsense. Very disappointed!!!!!

  5. The way this is going, the only way to show up as a smaller website in the future will be with adwords or by paying whatever fees google selected businesses decide on to show up in google !

  6. Home Advisor DOES NOT screen companies.

    They’re a lead reseller who take 1 lead and sell it for $15 or more to 5 or 6 of your competitors in addition to selling the lead to you.

    Who ever gets to the person first, MAY get the job… they may not, but you’re paying for the lead regardless.

    All we need are more lead resellers jumping into the market and causing marketing costs to go up. This isn’t good for anyone but Home Advisor’s bottom line.

  7. This whole thing smacks of desperation.

    If Google really wanted to roll up the market they’d offer the service booking and customer messaging interface for free (along with verifiable reviews) as an extension of GmB, and build the revenue model once they had that market penetrated. Instead they’re buying into a platform that has earned some very mixed opinions, while pushing prohibitively expensive HSA ads, while also turning Thumbtack into an overfunded conflict of interest.

    The only way this play makes sense is if they’re secretly vetting Homeadvisor as an investment/acquisition opportunity.

  8. I was sure when I started reading this, Mike, that you were going to say that this was going to replace HSA. But no – it’s going to be in addition to it? For the same category (plumbers?). Yeah … that makes a lot of sense.

    Chalk up 1 for Google for bringing more confusion to the mix on this for SABs and for us.

    Hmm. Thanks for reporting.

  9. @Miriam

    HSAs are still in a really limited test area (just where I like them) and the screenshot from the article showed a company out of Denver (which may or may not exist.)

    In any case, there’s a good chance we’re looking at different tests in different geographical markets.

  10. lol… these sites aren’t at the top of the heap because users don’t like them! Vendors don’t really matter because they are the small part of the market if you think you matter… then it must hurt with your head in your bum. IAC has used the same strategy to consolidate a few industries and Google is counting on that! IMO, Adwords service ads are pushing the envelope as far as what Google can do and not raise an eyebrow at a few offices in Washington housing litigious mobs with a hardon to nail the Gorg for anything

  11. @ Miriam

    No, I think it’s just them running experiments in parallel because they don’t have a lot of confidence in any of them.

    Google Goofy is when you can’t even tell where one Google product ends and the next one begins because the ecosystem is so fragmented (like with Maps, GmB and G+ historically) or because their naming conventions are whack (like with Goggles and Glass, or Chromebooks that can cast Chrome Web Browser content from Chrome OS to a Chromecast, which mirrors content from your Chrome Web Browser without showing the web browser’s Chrome.)

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