JustinB

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Mike had a good post about how Google is toying with this idea of having you call Google for whatever local services you want and they will "find" one for you, no doubt a top bidder.
No PPC ads, no 3 Pack, just call Google. I personally think if Google decided to go this route it would be for 2 reasons:
1. Google can corner the price market and determine what's the best per lead price instead of relying on a natural bidding process.
2. Selling per lead is profitable, especially when you can't see your competition.

I wouldn't call Google if it came down to this just saying...

Don?t Call A Plumber ? Call (or Text) Google Concierge | Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
 
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I've been dubious that the home service style ads would work well (same for Amazon and the other big guns jumping into the quotes game lately) and I'm even more doubtful that this 'call Google' will take off. I think consumer trust is a huge hurdle, and introducing a middle man isn't a clear way to reduce that lack of trust, especially when everyone knows that there's money changing hands. This isn't a service Google's offering explicitly to improve customer satisfaction. Either way, that extra level of 'ease' and 'help' like you said, heavily reduces transparency... I think for someone looking for a good quote, that's not going to put them at ease.

I like Mike's point though, this is likely an additional test after the last iteration didn't meet standards. I'd be really surprised if this branch of local exploration ends up going anywhere (or if they push it through anyway, I think there'll be data to show they're doing it at a cost to what the consumer wants to have happen) but can't blame the giant for figuring out new ways to toll the bridge.
 
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