Google debuted Trusted Stores last fall, and now the company has acquired the assets and patents of Kikscore to make the program better. Kikscore offers its own online trust score system, which is about to be discontinued, in favor of Google's.
Here's a quick clip about Trusted Stores in case you're unfamiliar with the program:
We are excited to announce that the KikScore technology and certain assets have been acquired. As of June 28, 2012, the KikScore service will no longer be available to customers. We recommend that our customers check out the Google Trusted Store product as an alternative to the KikScore service. In fact, we wrote this post last October that describes how complimentary the KikScore and Google Trusted Store products are for small businesses. We are very proud of the more than two years that we offered the KikScore service and are so grateful to the 1700+ small business customers that we have served globally.
Back in 2008 this all began at a Fuddruckers in Northern Virginia. The road from there to today has been filled with great highs, some deep lows, overcoming immense challenges all while dealing with the occasional kicks to the gut that most startups typically experience. It has been a sincere pleasure for the entire KikScore team to serve so many small businesses and also work to help them be successful through this blog, tweetchats and our December 2011 white paper. There is still great work to be done for small businesses and that is why we are so excited that an industry leader will be able to build off of the technology, platform and IP that we spent our blood, sweat and tears building, developing and launching.
The blog post about how complimentary KikScore and Google Trusted Store products are is interesting. It lists five things that Google's program didn't cover, like: who is behind a website, where the site is hosted, who is behind the business that runs the site, who manages the business (and do they have a track record of financial reliability), and does the business have any liens or judgements pending against them.
"Incidentally, a lot of these questions are actually answered by sites that have a KikScore seal on their site," the post said. "So that also helps answer how is KikScore different than the Google Trusted Stores. If you use KikScore, shoppers at online stores get a look into who is behind the business, the management, website history, customer feedback along with a dynamic and real-time trust score that gives shoppers an indication about whether level of trustworthiness for website owner."
Perhaps these are some areas where Google will be able to take advantage of the acquisition. The post makes another interesting point, however, in that Google's program was focused on online stores, whereas KikScore's is on small businesses of all types, such as: lawyers, doctors, contractors, plumbers, etc.
It just so happens that Google is really ramping up its offerings for local businesses, so it will be interesting to see if this acquisition plays a significant role in those efforts.