Need a plumber? Google’s new service will help you find one…

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Google is about to launch a new product that will help users of its website find local home-service providers such as plumbers and electricians.

Google to enter the home services market

Google apparently has a new product in development that signifies the search giant’s interest in the home-services market, and may indicate a bigger push into that lucrative area.

Sources ‘in the know’ claim that Google’s product will help to connect Google search users with local service providers (i.e. plumbers, electricians, that sort of thing) and will be announced at an advertising conference in the spring.

Google Internet Plumber

Call a plumber on Google, and someone like this may turn up…

What will this product look like? Supposedly it’ll simply be integrated into Google search, and so will be able to act on queries about home improvement and issues you might have with your waterworks, for instance.

At the moment, if you search for plumbers, Google returns links to local service providers and AdWord advertisements, but sources claim the new service will go far beyond this and actually connect users with the service providers – it’s not yet clear how this communication will happen, however.

Google has of course been experimenting with connecting search users and businesses for a while. For example, Google Compare allows users to shop for auto insurance: search for “car insurance” and Google shows a box advertising insurance companies and asks users to enter their zip code, which lets them compare the offers directly within Google. It’s expected that Google will offer similar mortgage comparison shopping for the US in the near future.

A huge and expanding industry

The home services industry is huge and expanding quickly, and Google isn’t the only tech giant looking to exploit it. Amazon just launched a new Home Services website (US only right now), which allows Amazon users to search, select and pay for things like car mechanics and landscape gardeners right on the Amazon site.

Google Plumber Electrician

Decisions, decisions…

Amazon also partners with TaskRabbit, a US-based on-demand worker startup. The Internet e-commerce giant is allowing TaskRabbit’s “taskers” and handymen to get access to a huge customer base, who can hire them through the Amazon website.

Since Google handles billions of search requests per day, then if the company can capitalise on even a small percentage of the searches by converting them to paid jobs for the people offering their services, it has the potential to gain momentum in the ‘sharing economy’ market.

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1 Comment

  1. James Baker on

    Great. In addition to getting spammed on google search by paid results we get this. We have taskrabbit and angie’s list so how is this better? Angie’s list lost $18 mil last year on revenue of $79 mil. Google has the infrastructure to beat that but it will detract from search.

    IMHO google is opening the door for a new search engine startup or for Yahoo to sneak back in through the back door.

    I remember when Yahoo reigned as king and got greedy and started charging for a search subscription. That opened the door for Google. Now google gets greedy and…