Local Service Ads (LSA’s) help businesses to connect with potential customers who search for their products or services on Google. The Ads show up to the customers who are in the area of the business. The ad will only be paid for by the business owner when a client contacts them directly from the Ad.

Google requires a background check of a business as part of the registration process for LSA’s. Several changes have been made on background checks to ensure a smooth flow of the process.

How Do Local Service Ads Work?

Once you put up your LSA, customers will be able to see your ad among the top results when they search relevant terms. Your customers will also get an insight into your business from within the ad and even have the ability to contact you. Google will then charge you when the Local Service Ad puts you in direct contact with a client.

This is what puts the difference between traditional Google Ads and Local Service Ads. In the former, you will be charged depending on the number of times the Ad is clicked. LSA’s can help put your business among the top search results without the optimization of keywords.

This helps increase the number of visitors to your website, consequently increasing your brand’s exposure. Google’s LSA also has the added advantage of Google screened badges, which is impressive for many customers. It shows that you are Google’s trusted partner and have passed all the background checks.

How are the Business Entity/ Background Checks Conducted?

For you to put up an LSA successfully, you have to pass a business setup and owner background check. For the business entity background checks, Google has to substantiate that the business has been registered per the host country’s regulations and laws.

These background checks are carried out by local background check agents. The result of the background check is held in confidence between your business and the background check agent.

Furthermore, background checks on the owner require him to successfully finish an identity check and criminal history as a measure against fraud. For applicable business categories, it is a Google requirement that all employees and business affiliates complete a background check.

What are the Changes?

All of Google’s background check services were offered by Pinkerton Investigative Services until recently. Currently, LSA utilizes the services of Evident, which is another background check service company.

The entry of Evident into the business has made things simpler. For a start, Evident completes background checks in just two weeks, unlike Pinkerton’s three-week turnaround time. The process for applying for a background check is also much easier. One only needs to fill out a contact form for the background check to begin.


Getting started on Google Local Service Ads is easy. This is especially true since you have the option to choose your background check provider between Pinkerton and Evident. This is because Google has not officially announced Evident as the sole background check provider. The fun part is that you will only pay for results!