How to earn points and badges

Google depends on a community of dedicated volunteers around the world to keep Search and Maps up-to-date with up-to-date information about local businesses, places, and attractions.

These volunteers are called Local guides.

When you’re visiting a new city and looking for hotel and restaurant information, chances are Google Local Guides has provided the information you need to make informed decisions.

Local Guides selflessly contribute reviews, photos, videos and more for the benefit of people like you.

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

Google developed the Local Guides program to encourage individuals to help keep Maps up to date.

Local Guides are also called upon to verify the accuracy of information provided by companies.

Everyone is eligible to join the Local Guide program. If you already post reviews on Google Maps, you might as well get some recognition.

This article explains what the Google Local Guide program is, how to join it, and the types of benefits you can get.

What is the Google Local Guide program?

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

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

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

Points, levels and badges

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

  • Write a review – 10 dots

  • Write a review longer than 200 characters – 20 stitches

  • Evaluate a business – 1 points

  • Upload a picture – 5 points

  • Tag a photo – 3 points

  • Upload a video – 7 points

  • Answer Q&A – 3 points

  • Edit information – 5 points

  • Add a place – 15 dots

  • Add road – 15 dots

  • Check a fact – 1 points

  • Publish an eligible list – 10 dots

  • Write a description (in list) – 5 points

You will reach higher levels in the Local Guides program as you accumulate points.

At level four and above, you’ll earn a badge that will display next to your name when it appears in Google Maps.

The levels of the local guide program are as follows:

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

In the past, Google offered bonuses to top 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, although nothing is promised.

How to join the Google Local Guides program

The first step

Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022

Visit the Google Local Guides signup page and click Begin.

Second step

How to join the Google Local Guides program Step 2Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022

Enter the name of your city and click on Become a local guide.

Third step

How to join the Google Local Guides program Step 3Screenshot from maps.google.com/localguides/, April 2022

Start earning points by contributing to Google Maps.

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

If you allow Google to show your location history, you’ll receive recommendations for places to look based on where you’ve been.

However, you do not need to have location history tracking turned on to participate in Local Guides. You can still find locations manually and contribute to them.

In summary

You can become a Google Local Guide by following a simple sign-up process available to anyone with a Google Account.

After you’ve made enough contributions to reach level 4, a badge will appear next to your name when you leave reviews, letting others know you’re a Local Guide.

The Local Guides program is Google’s way of recognizing those who keep maps and business profiles up-to-date with accurate information, recent images, and relevant reviews.

It’s another way to improve your online presence and stand out in the world’s leading search engine.

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Featured Image: ViDl Studio/Shutterstock

Ryan H. Bowman