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by Stephen Logan on 6th October 2009
With the initial Wave furore now settling down, it appears Google are continue to innovate; although this time it’s in one of their key monetising departments – paid advertising.
The Internet search titan is currently trialling a service that will incorporate local search with PPC. Whilst local search results will still be contained alongside a location map in a box near the head of the SERPs, the new Local Listing Ads will appear in the advertising banner immediately above it, with the businesses location still denoted by an alternative numbered pointer within the map itself (shown below).
Whilst trials are happening in San Francisco and San Diego areas, this appears to offer a very logical and interesting leap forward in both paid and local search. The new system though, at least as it stands currently, will require little in the way of management. All businesses need to do is select their location, determine what sector they’re in and just pay the amount Google defines for each click. Even the adverts use just a single uniformed style, with the name, web address and contact details displayed. All very simple.
This could therefore become a hotly contested advertising platform pretty quickly, particularly in business sectors that have numerous individual companies operating in a single area. But as this is still in the developmental stages, we can assume that Google will iron out any creases before the roll it out to the wider world, that’s also if they decide to of course.
For Google this represents another revenue stream, but for local businesses in competitive markets, it could well provide an invaluable source of traffic. Local search is an increasingly popular and important area of search engine optimisation. By targeting searches in your business’ immediate vicinity you can eliminate wider competition and focus on visitors who are more likely to be seeking your services. Local Listing Ads could well add another dynamic to this.
Of course it won’t replace traditional PPC services or Google AdWords, not in its current form at any rate. This is simply an additional option, something that should be used to compliment any PPC or SEO work you’re doing. The main advantage for site owners though is that it requires little or no management, meaning your ads could be created in minutes and left to their own devices. As this is only being trialled currently we will keep you posted on any developments, if and when it does land in the UK.