Back in August of 2013, Google launched a rather interesting new service. Well, it was more of a program that Google+ users could enrol in. The program was City Experts and was being touted as Google’s alternative (or attempt to compete) with the likes of Yelp. In short, people could enroll to become experts in their local area. These experts could provide advice on the best places to eat, shop, go or just hang out. Basically a local expert with local knowledge on the entire area. However, Google immediately understood that to be an expert (in the traditional sense of the word) you do need to have some kind of qualifications in place. As a result, the Search giant employed strict guidelines and criteria which had to be met before you could enroll and become one of their City Experts. If you are wondering what those guidelines were then, you had to have already reviewed at least fifty places (experience), commit to reviewing another five per month and lastly be able to write reviews which met Google’s well written guidelines.
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Well, as you could probably imagine, sounds like quite a lot of work and not much fun. As such, it might not come as too much of a surprise to learn that Google has today decided to relaunch the program under a new guise. The latest incarnation of City Experts is now known as Local Guides. Straight off of the bat, the re-branded name elicits a much friendlier statement. Instead of being an expert, you can now be a guide. That sounds more fun, right? Well, it seems the stiffness of being an expert might not have been going that well and maybe this is why Google have decided to take a softer approach to the service instead of simply outright abandoning the program.
In terms of the new setup, the stringent rules have been relaxed and now anyone can be a local guide and advise people in their area of places to go, eat and relax. In fact, Google seems to have implemented some form of tier to their guides, which means the more you write, the higher up the ranking you go. Maybe you will even reach City Expert levels. It also seems that those who do rise up the ranks, can benefit from member exclusives and competitions. If you fancy lending your services to being a guide and enrolling in the program then click here to head over to the newly launched Local Guides site.