Google officially rolled out its Google Tags product this morning and it's one of the most significant (and meaningful) changes to the local search advertising landscape in a very long time.
"Tags" are simply yellow "markers" that allow business owners to promote certain aspects of their businesses. For example, a flower shop could use a tag to showcase a website link to specials or a restaurant could use a tag to feature a link to daily menu specials. Take a look at the results page for a search for "plumber 60618" at the end of this post.
To use Google Tags, a Google Places accuont needs to be created and business information completed and claimed. Once the listing is validated, tags can be activated on the dashboard. Tags are currently available in all 50 U.S. states.
Keep in mind that Tags do not affect the rank of search results. They do however add more information to a listing and help it stand out when it appears in natural search results. The cost of this added exposure? That's the best part. Tags are budget friendly - for a flat $25 monthly fee.