Google announced another addition to its lineup of mobile ad formats, Thursday, this time affecting location-based searches. The search engine will begin showing up to four ads for businesses on location-related searches in a “Nearby businesses” pack.
According to Google Trends data from March, “near me” searches have doubled in the past year, with 80 percent of those, not surprisingly, coming from mobile. With this change, the new nearby business ads are likely to show instead of traditional text ads. The ads will be driven by location extensions in AdWords and will include a link to get directions or click to call the business.
These ads are similar to the organic local business listings on Google mobile searches. Below is an example of one of these ads I found showing today above the typical set of local business listings.
Here’s how that search without “nearby” in the query looked today:
Advertisers must have location extensions enabled in their accounts in order to be eligible to show the new nearby business mobile ad format. I’m not clear what or where the reporting on these ads will be, but will update here when we have more details.
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