Monday, June 24, 2024
Smart Phones

Join Local Guides, help Google Maps users, and earn rewards

Google’s Local Guides program asks you to share information about certain places you’ve visited with them. Google uses this information, such as reviews, information about certain stores, and photographs, to help Google Maps users decide where to go to obtain certain goods, services, and experiences. And while Google doesn’t pay you with cash on the barrel head for helping them out, the tech company does offer some perks.

Google rewards its Local Guides with freebies and perks

Last October, for example, Google rewarded some of its Local Guides with three free months of Google Fi service. Fi is the company’s MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) which means that it sources its wireless service from T-Mobile’s network. While it owns no cell sites itself, it can still sell you connectivity for your wireless, mobile needs. If you had to put a price tag on Google’s largesse, this freebie was valued at up to $195!

Just the other day, this writer submitted some more Local Guides information to Google and for this, I was rewarded by Google with six free months of Google One cloud storage. I receive 100GB of additional storage to use monthly along with some of the other perks that are bestowed upon Google One subscribers. One such bonus is a free VPN that encrypts your online activity no matter which browser you are using. Even on public Wi-Fi networks, you can protect yourself from hackers and attackers.

One issue with using a VPN is one that you might not be aware of. Because a VPN requires the use of extra steps to connect from a home Wi-Fi to your internet provider and back, your data speed declines. For example, when I toggled on the free VPN from Google, my download data speed was 100Mbps. Once I disabled the VPN, my download speed went back to over 300Mbps.

How to join Local Guides

The 100GB of cloud storage I’m receiving for the next six months would normally cost me $1.99 per month so the value of my gift comes out to $11.94. That may not be the same as receiving three free months of Google Fi, but I do greatly appreciate the reward.

Local Guides works on a point system with different points awarded depending on each contribution you make to Google Maps. To sign up to join the Local Guides program, open the Google Maps app on Android or iOS and tap on the Contribute tab at the bottom of the screen to join the program.

As we said, the points you earn depend on the information you provide:

  • Write a review – 10 points
  • Write a 200+ character review – 20 points
  • Rate a business – 1 point
  • Upload a photo – 5 points
  • Tag a photo – 3 points
  • Upload a video – 7 points
  • Respond to Q&As – 3 points
  • Edit information – 5 points
  • Add a place – 15 points
  • Add a road – 15 points
  • Check a fact – 1 point
  • Publish an eligible list – 10 points
  • Write a description (in list) – 5 points

As you accumulate points, you move up the ranks of Local Guides. Once you have collected 250 points, that takes you to Level 4 and you’ll see a badge next to your profile picture on reviews and photos. The highest level you can attain is Level 10. To get to the pinnacle (Level 10), you must amass 100,000 points. As of December 2021, the latest data published, Google had 1,315 Local Guides at that level.

If you don’t mind taking a few minutes of your time to provide Google with answers to the question they ask about certain places you’ve visited, you could find yourself working your way up the ladder and perhaps you will be rewarded by Google for all of the time and work that you put into being a Local Guide. Not to forget that you are also helping out Google Map users who are asking for help.


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