Local SEO Update: Google Begins Testing Local Search Ads Posted by Michael Bunn | 4.21.16 10:09am

Rumblings began to occur in the local SEO world yesterday when it became apparent that Google was testing the appearance of paid ads in the Local Finder. On desktop, these ads can be seen once a searcher has clicked the “More places” button at the bottom of the three-pack on the main search engine results page (SERP).

Ads look like the following:

Ads showing in the Local Finder utilize AdWords’ local extensions, similar to how Google Maps began to feature ads relying on the extensions in 2013. Per Search Engine Land, a Google spokesperson said the following: We’re always testing out new formats for local businesses, but don’t have any additional details to share for now.”

What Does This Mean for Local Businesses?

To put it short: the introduction of ads in the Local Finder marks another shift in the SEO landscape where it is increasingly becoming a “pay to play” world. It also means there are increased opportunities for businesses to get in front of searchers they care the most about. If you are serious about succeeding online and growing the number of leads you receive, it becomes more and more difficult to ignore a smart, well-thought-out paid advertising campaign.

Over the last few years, real estate on results pages has shifted more toward paid ads and less toward organic results—and it does not look like a trend that will be slowing down any time soon. That is why we at Scorpion always recommend a well-rounded approach to online marketing.

If you have questions about how updates such as this will affect your business’ visibility online or the opportunities that they present, we encourage you to contact our Internet marketing experts today. Let us help you get more out of your online marketing!

About the Author
Michael L. Bunn is the VP of Strategic Marketing at Scorpion. In his role, he works hand-in-hand with Scorpion’s SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) teams, and he remains up-to-date on the constant changes occurring within the Internet marketing industry. These include changes that affect Internet marketing within Google, Google My Business, Bing, and Yahoo.

Michael’s contributions to the SEO and SEM teams have played a crucial part in helping Scorpion become a Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner. Prior to joining Scorpion, Michael had a background in business management, sales, and consulting. He is an avid golfer who enjoys business consulting.