Google Confirms Local and Map Ads

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Google Local Ads

Today it happened.

At Google’s Performance Summit, they formally announced the “next generation of local search ads” on Google and Google Maps. They also said they would be bringing more “branded and customized experiences to Maps. What this means is anyone’s guess at this point.

A Matter of Time

I recently noticed how Google began showing ads in the Local Finder, while also saying it was a matter of time before ads came to Local. In the announcement today, Google stated they are introducing promoted pins and branded pins on Maps. G acknowledged they are testing different formats so expect to see variations over time.

New Local Pages

In addition, Google announced “new-look local pages” which will offer new features and customizations. Apparently, retailers will be able to include local product inventory, promotions and discounts. This is the most interesting part of the announcement to me. What are these pages? Will every business get them? When will we know when the pages are ready? I would assume restaurants will be able to do something similar with coupons, sales and offers. We will see how far this goes and which businesses are eligible.

In doing this, Google is attempting to drive offline foot traffic and conversions to small businesses. One areas where Google has fallen short is making offline to online metrics available to digital marketers. They appear to be working towards this goal but it will not be something done quickly or easily.

What do you think of Local and Map Ads? Will you be using them right away or wait to see what others have to say first?

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