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    Arrow Monetizing Local - Google Testing New Paid Ads that Look Like a Pack - From #SMX

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    Think those new style map listings are from Google My Business?

    Wrong. Those are Ads!


    Joy Hawkins shared this at the Local Search Pros Community yesterday. It's a shot from Dr Pete's presentation at SMX. Others in the discussion above said this has been around for awhile.

    I replied:

    "So in addition to hotel and travel booking and restaurant menus reservations and some of the other monetization deals they have, they may be moving into local retail? Kinda makes sense they would go in that direction I guess."

    I think it kinda makes sense for local retail but I also agree with Zachary Palmer who said:

    "How fitting that the ads are Walmart and Lowe's. The main thing I love about Local - is it gives the small players a chance to compete against the big companies."

    Here is Pete's slide deck from SMX.



    The slide above is #48.

    What do you think???

    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Monetizing Local - Google Testing New Paid Ads that Look Like a Pack - From #SMX

    If those listings become ads it would make the mobile experience within Google SERP's predominately paid. If the Pigeon update didn't motivate local retailers to focus on content and linking strategies to their pages this will!

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    Re: Monetizing Local - Google Testing New Paid Ads that Look Like a Pack - From #SMX

    I just always remember that Google is a business and their primary goal is to make money. I think Google My Business being free for so long has kind of got this idea in everyone's heads that their business deserves to be ranked high on Google without paying Google a dime. I think the reality is that Google will rank the business high only if they feel it's in their better interest (or the interest of their users, which is ultimately to keep users on Google so they can make more money from ads...etc).

    So should business owners get mad if this becomes the new norm? No - they should just get prepared to pay and learn the monster that is Google AdWords or hire someone to do it for them.
    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

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    Re: Monetizing Local - Google Testing New Paid Ads that Look Like a Pack - From #SMX

    Yes I agree Joy. Google does not owe anyone a free page and free advertising, even though we've become used to having it all for free. Back when I was new in the business I expected local would go to a full "pay to play" model. Kinda like the Yahoo business directory, where you had to pay for your listing.

    Now she's monetizing in various ways, but to support all the free listings, support all the engineering staff and support staff, they need to make money somehow.

    So it's all good. Just interesting to watch new monetization models emerge.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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    Re: Monetizing Local - Google Testing New Paid Ads that Look Like a Pack - From #SMX

    I agree too, kinda. Google owes no one anything. They ARE in fact a business. I remember there was a time people actually thought the ads in YP's were free (hahah- but those same people were shocked to find out how much the ads actually cost) YP's always provided a free business listing - but you had to pay to "rank"

    BUT... I think some businesses do deserve to rank - if it is Google's goal to provide the best search experience... Do you think this example provides the best user experience? Walmart for gas grills... No way.

    The real story here is - should any of us be shocked. We've all known all along that Google really is a money motivated organization. The fact they have been able to go as long as they have with people believing in their "do no evil" mantra - while Microsoft still wallows in the hate - is beyond me.

    And as ABL3 pointed out - the mobile experience. This is an interesting concept - but it is not good for the small business.

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