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Local Mobile Search Changes at Google in Focus

Posted on 6.06.2016

As a result of greater mobile adoption and usage, the Web is also becoming increasingly local.

The changes coming to AdWords and Analytics illustrate this very well, and Google is spearheading this next generation of local search ads, making it exceedingly important for marketers to be aware of if they intend to stay competitive.

Let's take a look at a few of the more significant developments from the past few weeks and what they may mean for your enterprise (local or not).

Google will be introducing new Maps ad formats and features designed to drive foot traffic to physical locations, including Promoted Pins (which include brand logos), in-store promotions, customizable business pages and local inventory search. Google will use a variety of signals including query context, location (of course) search/browsing history, defined interests, behaviors, time of day and other demographic information. Say that you're out shopping and want to pick up a Starbucks; using Promoted Pins, the coffee chain could not only include a logo of the closest location to you, but could also incentive your visit with a coupon for your favorite six dollar cup of vanilla-mocha iced coffee.

The new local search ads on Google maps will appear pretty much everywhere - from within the Google Maps app, on Google Maps mobile, desktop and tablet sites, as well as on Expanded Maps results. The number of ads shown will differ per device/experience, but with over 1 billion downloads, the new local search ads is an opportunity most businesses won't be able to easily dismiss.

The new local search ads are still in beta and Google hasn't actually said when the features will be rolled out, but if location-based businesses are interested in participating when that happens, they should have location extensions enabled (as they will be the only ones eligible to show).

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