Originally spotted via gSpy, Google is soliciting “local business referral representatives” to gather metadata and take pictures at local businesses around the country. They will be paid and must apply. Indeed, Google appears to be targeting college students rather than serious sales people with the program.
What’s the motivation:
In keeping with our mission to organize the world’s information, we’re always looking for new ways to make that information more universally accessible and useful. With the Google Local Business Referrals (LBR) program, we’re focusing our efforts on small businesses across the United States, helping connect them with potential customers in their communities.
What’s the job description:
As a Google Business Referral Representative, you’ll visit local businesses to collect information (such as hours of operation, types of payment accepted, etc.) for Google Maps, and tell them about Google Maps and Google AdWords. You’ll also take a few digital photos of the business that will appear on the Google Maps listing along with the business information. After the visit, you submit the business’ info and photo(s) to Google through your Local Business Referrals Center, and we’ll pay you up to $10 for each listing that is approved by Google and verified by the business.
All you need to be a successful Business Referral Representative is a passion for helping local businesses succeed, a love for the Internet (some knowledge of Google is great, too), and access to a computer and a digital camera.
This is not a sales force per se, but it is a local sales presence and “feet on the street.” As I say on my blog:
Yellow pages need not worry about sales competition but this is a bold step for Google to take, both to get more information into its local database and to raise awareness of AdWords among local businesses… [It's] one more piece in a diversified Google strategy to reach the local market.