Google continues to test and roll out new updates to its search campaigns in Adwords. Most recently with the addition of ads in the local finder as well as removing Google Maps as a search partner and assimilating it into its main network.
Ads Now Appearing in Local Finder
Google appears to be infiltrating more organic results with even more ads. Accessed by clicking through on the “More Places” link at the bottom of the local three pack, these ads appear at the top of the business listings are marked with the traditional “ad” tag.
This allows local businesses who do not appear in the organically in the three pack or local finder, an opportunity to be seen by potential customers.
These results work just like Google Maps ads and only display if you have local extensions enabled. Google relies on the data provided in local to display the correct information to populate the ad.
However, unlike the ads found in Google Maps, the businesses with ads in the local finder. Do not have a pin on the map.
These ads are apparently still being tested and Google has not confirmed if these changes will be permanent as they continue to show up in more SERP’s.
Google Maps No Longer Considered a Search Partner
Before, Google maps was considered a search partner and in order to have your ads show up in the Maps, you had to opt in when creating your search network campaign as well as enable local extensions. Google has now altered their list of advertiser partners and Maps is no longer included.
Soon, Google will only display ads in Maps that have the correct local extensions, no plain text ads.
What This Means for Advertisers
If you were advertising through Google’s Search partners with local extensions enabled, you may see a drop in clicks and impressions if your ads were showing up in Google Maps.
Alternatively, if you have your local extension enabled in your search campaign, and did not previously opt in to partners, you may see an increase in the number of clicks and impressions your ads receive.
This change means that more advertisers will now be included in the Maps ad auctions. So for those advertisers with a local business or local clients, now is a great time to ensure your Google My Business pages are setup correctly and displaying the correct information before enabling the local extensions in your search campaigns.