heckler

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We got this little note today when working through a verification issue:

We’re glad to inform you that your listing is eligible to be verified via a new method we’re exploring: Video Verification.
Video Verification is an experimental method and you’re under no obligation to try it, but we hope that you will (and that you’ll find it quick and convenient.) Video Verification can be completed via a video call with our specialist from either your workplace or your vehicle.

  • Workplace - To show us where you get your work done. This will include showing our specialist around your workspace, your business logo, and the tools you use. If you meet customers on your premises we’ll want to see your public space as well.
  • Vehicle - To show us how you get to your customers. This will include showing our specialist the license plate of your registered motor vehicle (sorry, no public transit accepted at this time) and your business logo On the vehicle. If you carry tools or other instruments of your trade in your vehicle, that’s ideal.

What’s next? A confirmation that you’d like to be a part of this test group, and the best time to get on a video call with you. We’re happy to entertain requests outside regular work hours too.

Not excited about video verification? If you’d prefer to not take part in our video experiment, please let us know. (We’ll wait to hear back from you before taking any further action.) We’re happy to share other ways in which you can provide us the required information via email, such as photos of your business and confirmation from a company domain.

Anyone have additional context?
 
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Scott Rawlins

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First, I've heard about this. Not sure this will be ideal. I find it hard to believe they will dedicate that amount of man hours to verifications. But hey, it's G, so who knows.
 

heckler

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First, I've heard about this. Not sure this will be ideal. I find it hard to believe they will dedicate that amount of man hours to verifications. But hey, it's G, so who knows.

Yeah it doesn't seem like something that would be at the top of my 'is this scalable' list, but maybe they're trying to figure out how to combat the spam better?
 

mborgelt

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Great point on scaling. I wonder if the video has to be a certain quality for them to deem it acceptable (although hardly an issue these days). I think it is great that they let you pick the time for the video call. I'm curious to hear more about this.
 

heckler

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I don't suspect you'll get this invite if you're using a bulk-account, this one came in through a single-sign-in, owner-verified account.

We're in the process of trying-to-try it out, so I'll report back if/when that happens.
 
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Given the challenges with scalability, I wonder if it'll end up mostly being used in high-spam areas, as a way to try to make fake listings even more challenging to create. Interesting to see where this ends up fitting into their line-up.
 

CodyBaird

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Seems like a great way for Google to use a cell phone (location) plus video to quickly and easily see if a business really meets guidelines. Could it possibly be more difficult to manipulate?
 

heckler

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Seems like a great way for Google to use a cell phone (location) plus video to quickly and easily see if a business really meets guidelines. Could it possibly be more difficult to manipulate?

That's my thought. The couple invites we've got were from SAB type businesses that wouldn't verify. So I'm assuming it may just be another level of spam fighting. I can't personally think of a better way for Google to call someone's bluff on "Yes, I'm a real business".

?\_(ツ)_/?
 

Colan Nielsen

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I can't personally think of a better way for Google to call someone's bluff on "Yes, I'm a real business".

?\_(ツ)_/?

True that. But spammers will always find a way. All Google can do is try to adapt their processes faster than spammers can figure out how to manipulate it.
 

CodyBaird

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Google could fix so many issues quickly by use geo location verification. If a phone hasn't visited a location (x) number of times then it cannot leave a review.

Businesses without (x) number of real visitors (android traffic) don't see the search results. More traffic more results
 

chadkimball

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This seems really, really odd.

Are you sure that it is REALLY from Google, and not a scam?
:confused:

this is absolutely from google

we got this a few weeks ago for one of my clients (again, on a single listing they were trying to verify, not bulk).
 

Phil Rozek

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This is intriguing, but no way in hell it's going to last. Way too labor-intensive for both parties. I can just imagine situations where Google says, "Well, your video was perfect, but your pinky finger covered up the last 2 digits of your license plate number, so can you shoot a new video?"

Also, Google's lawyers had better start drafting some legalese to protect them from the invitable event of "I got on a video call with you and you declined to verify my business - you discriminated against me." With such a "know it when I see it" component, such a claim might even be valid.

Video verification might be very handy in some places, but it just won't be cheap and scalable and applicable everywhere, so I guess let's try it while we still can.
 
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