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How to gain local guide points and move up the levels

When was the last time you tried a new restaurant without a recommendation?

If you’re like me, it’s probably been a while.

Everyone you’ve ever met is just naturally inclined to seek the opinion of others before trying something new.

On your own, you don’t know if that new Italian restaurant down the street is any good, but your sister says the food and atmosphere were amazing.

That helps you make your decision as a consumer.

Did you know that about 97% of customers read online reviews before they buy?

And, it’s also important to remember that people trust people. Peers are the most trusted form of recommendation when it comes to everything from finding a restaurant and booking a hotel to finding a contractor or choosing a vet.

local guide points

Why You Should Join

Like taking pictures and telling your friends about where you went to eat last night? You’re basically already acting as a Google Local Guide.

After signing up to be a Google Local Guide, you can start leveling up, earning local guide points, and gaining badges. All you have to do is join for FREE. Yes, FREE! And, snap some photos, maybe take a video, and leave a review about the places that you go to everyday.

So, why not join one of the most respected businesses out there and help out your fellow neighbor, friend, or relative?

Because, I know you are already snapping photos and telling your friends about it anyway. I see your Snap Chats and Insta stories.

First, let me tell you a little bit about who Local guides are and then how you can start earning Local Guide points.

Who are Google Local Guides?

Local Guides are users that help improve Google Maps by informing other users about businesses via real feedback based on their own personal experiences.

The more active of a guide you are, the more local guide points you’re given. Anyone who sees your reviews, photos, answers, etc., on Google Maps can see your current level, which can help your contributions carry trust and authenticity.

Local guide points, levels, and the badging system make it interactive and fun, and also ensure its continuous development. As the app grows in popularity, it is also becoming more relevant in a culture of sharing and contributing.

Millennials, who are now the largest consumer group for any business, love review sites.

local guide points

What You Can Provide and How to Gain Local Guide Points

The Local Guides program lets you provide nine kinds of information, each of which carries a specific reward:


The easiest way to earn points is to rate places that you have visited. This is the simple star rating, 1 through 5 stars, that you select and submit. (1 Point)


If you want to put a bit more effort into it, you can leave a written review. Tell people about the place you’ve visited with as much or as little detail as you like. However, if the review is over 200 characters you gain more points.

Be descriptive and share what’s good or bad, what does it look like and what is the vibe like. Anything that you think might be useful to future visitors. If you’re going to be critical, make sure your concerns are legitimate and written in a reasonable manner if possible, let’s all try to be kind people! (10 Points; 10 more for reviews over 200 words)

Photos and Videos

A higher earner in Local Guide points is the photographer or videographer. There are a lot of visual people out there. Upload as many photos or videos as you like, they help people get a feel of what the place looks like and what they might experience.

Let’s face it, if you go somewhere with your phone, you’re probably taking pics or videos while you’re there anyway for SnapChat or Insta. So, share your beautiful visuals on another platform to help out others! You can also earn 3 points for tagging photos. (5 Points for photos and 7 points for video)

Adding Places or Roads

You can also add a venue or place. Some businesses don’t have a Google My Business page setup or claimed so you can help them out and put them on the map. There’s also something very satisfying about being the first to add a place to Maps. Know of a new restaurant coming to town? Be the first to let everyone know. (15 points for places and roads)


Along the same lines as this is editing existing information that’s out of date or no longer relevant. So, if you look up a business and it says it’s open today and you get there and it’s actually closed, that sucks for everyone involved. In this case, you can suggest an edit for opening times, the category of the establishment or contact details for example. (5 Points)


As you get a bit higher up the levels, you will be asked questions about places you’ve visited and reviewed. These questions earn you points and are useful for future visitors. A few good examples of this might be something like, does a restaurant serve only vegetarian food or is a place suitable for children. This is a great time killer if waiting in line at your favorite fast food drive-through. (1 Point)

Q&A Answers

If you know the answer to what others have asked, you can reply to them in Google Maps or search. (3 Points)

Fact Checks

And you can check facts about businesses. Such as, is that business still located at that address? If it’s not, you can say it’s permanently closed. On the same note, you can say that a business isn’t permanently closed even if some untrustworthy competitor says it is. (1 Point)

A few others are: 10 points per published list and 5 points per description added to a photo.

Considering the abundance of local businesses to rate or review, it’s easy to see why these may be an appealing prospect for any local guide looking to boost their levels.

What You Get With Local Guide Points

Once you get further up in the rankings there are other perks like movie tickets and online newspaper subscriptions, and ultimately meetups all over the world. Which is pretty awesome to make friends all over the world. Right? If you would like to learn about all the perks and benefits, read here.

But also remember, being a Local Guide also provides your community with valuable information.

local guide points

Leveling Up and Badges

Google Local Guide points are your stepping stone up the levels, from one (the starting level from zero points) to level ten (100,000 points +).

Beyond those Local Guide benefits are badges and recognition by other users. The more you contribute, the more points you earn, which other users can see when they run across your profile on Google Maps.

For example, if someone sees your review or views photos you’ve uploaded, they can see your level next to your name. You can think of it like a boasting plaque.

When you get to Level 4, you get your first badge that accompanies your reviews. This badge will also help your contributions to places get noticed even more.

The badge assigned to your profile, and the level you can reach, depends on the number of local guide points you have:

Level 10 points
Level 215 points
Level 375 points
Level 4250 points with your first badge
Level 5500 points with your second badge
Level 61,500 points with your third badge
Level 75,000 points with your fourth badge
Level 815,000 points with your fifth badge
Level 950,000 points with your sixth badge
Level 10100,000 points with the highest badge

Good to Know

Yes, Google does stay strict with its policies, so keep these things in mind.

Any reviews, edits, or photos that are marked private by Google were probably in violation of their policies and are visible only to you. Private reviews, edits, or photos do not count toward your Local Guide level.

Points may also be deducted if your contribution is determined to be in violation of their content policy. And, contributions that violate their policies do not count toward your Local Guide level either.

As long as the point of interest or business is still open and running, any of your contributions that are on Google Maps do not expire. However, if a business has permanently closed and been removed, the contribution will not count towards your Local Guides level.

local guides points

If you are someone who loves taking pictures, making edits, leaving reviews, helping others and/or just generally showing people the gems in your city, I would encourage you to become a Local Guide.

My Google Local Guides Reviews have been seen by over 4000 people

I love when Google tells me that I’m making a difference. It’s great to see which of my reviews and photos have made an impact on people’s trips.

Are you up to the challenge? Why not join the Local Guides program today and leave a review for a business you love?

Now that you know all about how to get local guide points, you want to learn about the benefits and perks. Click here.

Get everyone involved and make it into a game. Here’s another way to travel with your teen and not lose your shit. Make it fun for the whole family.

Ready to join but not tech savvy? Join the Vocal Local and get a step-by-step guide on how to join, a walk-through of what you need to know, tips and tricks, plus more.

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