Google Wants to Connect You With a Plumber - PC Magazine

Google will vet listings that connect users with plumbers, handymen, locksmiths, and house cleaners.

Uh-oh. That leaky pipeneeds a plumber stat. A quick Internet search pulls up page after page of possibilities, but who's available right now and won't rip you off?

A new service from Google wants to connect you with reputable home services right from its search results page. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the search giant will add listings to its sponsored results that connect users withplumbers, handymen, locksmiths, and house cleaners that have been vetted by Google.

Right now, it's only live in San Francisco. But Google users there will be able to search for help and contact those listed in Google's search results without ever leaving the page, the Journal said.

The move is part of Google's AdWord Express for small businesses, and participants must pass a background check and other tests before being added to search results.

The move could be a headache for rival services like Angie's List or Yelp, as well as start-ups like TaskRabbit and Handy.

Yelp has taken Google to task for favoring its own products in its search results. A Yelp-sponsored study released in Juneargued that Google knowingly serves up its own content in search results, even when it's not as good as competing sites, and consumers are being harmed by this anticompetitive behavior.

Back in 2011, Yelp alsofaced off against Google on Capitol Hilland accused it of threatening to pull Yelp content from search entirely if Yelp didn't allow Google to use Yelp content on itsPlace pages.

That and other complaints have prompted an EU investigation into Google's search tactics; it was cleared of any wrongdoingin the U.S.

But larger rivals are also dabbling in home services. In March, Amazon gotinto the handyman business withAmazon Home Services, a new marketplace for on-demand professional assistance. The site lets you find professionals in your area that can help you with all kinds of chores around the house from gutter cleaning and TV wall mounting to iPhone repair and car stereo installation.

Google, Amazon, and others have already been testing home-delivery services, but Re/code this month said Google would shut down delivery hubs in San Francisco and Mountain View.,2817,2490359,00.asp

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