Local guide program

Are you a savvy adventurer in your city, always eager to uncover its hidden gems? Have you ever wondered about joining a community of like-minded people and helping others discover new places? Here’s your opportunity. Welcome to the world of Google’s Local Guide Program.

Google’s Local Guide Program Explained

Google’s Local Guide Program is a reward-based initiative designed to encourage individuals to contribute valuable information to Google Maps and Google Business Profiles. As a Local Guide, you’ll find yourself joining a worldwide network of volunteers, providing insightful updates, and reviews about local businesses and places. But that’s not all. The program is gamified, meaning your contributions are rewarded with points, levels, and badges. You earn points for every piece of information you share, paving your way to becoming a recognized local expert.

When did the google local guide program start?

The Google Local Guides program was officially launched in 2015 as an extension of Google Maps and the ‘City Experts’ program that preceded it. The objective was to enhance the breadth and quality of Google Maps data by encouraging users to contribute their local knowledge. The City Experts program, which began in 2013, was focused on high-quality reviews of local places but was only available in select cities.

local guide program

Google expanded upon this idea with Local Guides, aiming to make the program more accessible to users worldwide. Local Guides incentivizes contributors with a point-based system, rewarding them with various benefits as they ascend through the levels. Over the years, these benefits have included things like early access to new Google products and features, exclusive Local Guides meet-ups, free Google Drive storage, and more.

Since its launch, the program has experienced significant growth and now has millions of contributors globally. These local guides help provide current, comprehensive data for Google Maps, making it a more valuable tool for users everywhere. They ensure the information you see, from business hours to photos to reviews, is accurate and up-to-date.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Google Local Guides program continues to be a vital part of the Google Maps ecosystem, and Google continues to develop new ways to reward and engage with its Local Guides community.

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Google local guide rewards

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Google has updated the reward system for its Local Guides program a few times. In the early stages of the program, Local Guides could earn perks such as increased Google Drive storage or early access to new Google features and products. Google even provided physical rewards such as socks or t-shirts for their top contributors.

However, over time, Google shifted away from tangible rewards to recognition-based rewards. Here’s a brief outline of how the rewards system works:

1. Points and Levels

Every contribution you make as a Local Guide—whether it’s writing a review, adding a new place, uploading photos, or answering questions—earns you points. These points help you progress through various levels of the Local Guides program.

2. Badges

Starting from Level 4, Local Guides earn badges that appear next to their name when they post reviews or answer questions on Google Maps. These badges serve as a visible sign of your contributions and expertise. The badge design changes as you ascend to higher levels.

3. Early Access to Google Features and Products

Occasionally, Local Guides are given early access to new Google products and features. This perk allows them to be among the first users to try out new functionalities.

4. Local Guides Connect

This is an online community where Local Guides can connect with each other, share their experiences, get access to exclusive Google-sponsored contests, and sometimes even attend Local Guides summit events.

As of September 2021, it’s worth noting that Google continues to refine and update the Local Guides program, so the nature of the rewards may change over time. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, consider visiting the official Local Guides page on Google.

Google review badge

The Google review badge is an element of the Google Local Guides program, a platform that allows users to contribute to Google Maps and earn points, levels, and badges for their contributions. Once you have accrued enough points by contributing reviews, photos, and other information, you can ascend through various levels of the program.

Starting from Level 4 and beyond, Local Guides receive a badge that is displayed next to their name when they leave reviews or answer questions on Google Maps. This badge indicates the user’s active participation in the program and their dedication to providing valuable, localized information.

The design of the badge changes as users continue to accumulate points and advance to higher levels in the Local Guide program. For instance, as of my knowledge cut-off in September 2021, a Level 4 Local Guide will have a badge with a numeral “4” in it, while a Level 7 guide’s badge will display a “7”, and so forth.

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The presence of these badges helps other users recognize the contributions of Local Guides and lends more credibility to their reviews and input, as they are recognized as active and experienced contributors to Google Maps.

Transforming everyday individuals into local experts

Through this initiative, Google transforms everyday users into local experts. Every time you share a review, add a new place, upload a photo, or answer a question on Google Maps, you’re earning points. The more points you accumulate, the higher your level in the program. When you reach level four and beyond, a distinctive badge appears next to your name, indicating your status as a Local Guide.

Adding Value, Gaining Recognition

Your contributions as a Local Guide not only help fellow users make informed decisions but also reward you with recognition. Despite the phased-out bonuses like free cloud storage and discounts on Google Play store, Local Guides still receive badges as virtual rewards for their efforts. Occasionally, some might even get early access to new Google features.

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How to Join the Local Guide Program?

Ready to become a Local Guide?Joining the Google Local Guide program is a simple and straightforward process. Here’s how you can become a Local Guide:

  • Step 1: Visit the Local Guides Website: Open your web browser and visit the Google Local Guides website. Look for the ‘Get Started’ or ‘Join’ button on the homepage.
  • Step 2: Sign in to Your Google Account: To join the Local Guides program, you must have a Google account. Click on ‘Get Started’ or ‘Join’, and you’ll be prompted to sign in to your Google account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create a new account.
  • Step 3: Confirm Your Location: Google will ask you to confirm your location. This information is crucial as it helps Google recommend places for you to review in your local area.
  • Step 4: Agree to the Terms and Conditions: Before finalizing your registration, you’ll need to agree to the program’s terms and conditions. Ensure you read through them carefully before agreeing.
  • Step 5: Start Contributing: After successful registration, you can start contributing to Google Maps immediately. You can write reviews, upload photos, answer questions, and update information to earn points.

Remember, every contribution you make adds up to your total points, which determine your level in the Local Guides program. The more active you are, the higher your level, and the more recognition you receive.

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Summing up, Google’s Local Guide program presents an ideal opportunity for those who love to explore, share, and contribute to their local communities. It’s more than just a reward system. It’s a platform to enhance your online presence, stand out in the world’s top search engine, and be recognized as a local expert. So why wait? Start your journey as a Local Guide today and contribute to making the world’s most extensive map resource even better.


What is Google’s Local Guide program?

Google’s Local Guide program encourages users to contribute information to Google Maps and Google Business Profiles.

How do I join the Local Guide program?

You can join the Local Guide program by signing up on the Google Local Guides page and selecting ‘Become a Local Guide.’

How do I earn points as a Local Guide?

You earn points by contributing to Google Maps, such as writing reviews, answering questions, adding photos, or updating information.

What is a Local Guide badge?

A Local Guide badge is a special recognition that appears next to your name on Google Maps once you reach Level 4.

What are the benefits of being a Local Guide?

Being a Local Guide allows you to contribute to your community, enhance your online presence, and receive recognition through badges.

Can anyone become a Local Guide?

Yes, anyone with a Google account can join the Local Guide program and start earning points.