More on Google’s Paid “Enhanced Listing” for Local

Yesterday, Greg Sterling reported on a Google test to allow for a new paid listing type, the “enhanced listings” for showing on Maps. According to Google, the “enhancement” will show wherever your listing is currently showing but will not affect rank or where the listing is shown. This test is distinct from the test for the Local Listing Ads that was run late last year.

Brett Burlson of Burlson Law Office in San Jose sent along the following screen shots, visible on the search san jose wrongful death attorney, from his participation in the program:

 

As Greg noted, the program charges a flat $25/mo. fee and allows the merchant to highlight type of enhancement they would like to show with their business listing, including any of the following:

Website for your business.
Photos of your business.
Videos of your business.
Coupons for your listing.
Menu for your restaurant.
Reservations page for your business.
Driving directions to your business.

In the case above, the link goes to a new video page attached to the Places Page for the business:

 

This test also provides additional enhanced listing activity in the Dashboard:

Clearly, the local market is ripe for a paid product from Google. The reach of the 7-pack is broad and being able to highlight or display in the area will be embraced by SMBs. Google will not leave this significant income source untapped for long and either one or both of the local listing ad or this enhanced listing is likely to find its way onto the 7-pack this year sooner rather than later.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
More on Google's Paid "Enhanced Listing" for Local by

20 thoughts on “More on Google’s Paid “Enhanced Listing” for Local”

  1. Mike: In certain categories, my experience is that G Maps just sucks up traffic. If your in the 7pac = excellent. If you are first in the 7pac= belissimo…you’ve hit gold. If somehow you get a onebox and there are competitors out there….You have hit nirvana…and they are sucking wind.

    If you are high ranked organically but shut out of g Maps, and its a relevant category wherein Google search dominates the visibility for potential customers…say bye bye traffic.

    Having experienced all that, both the good and the bad…I suspect that video’s within the 7pac/5pac/3pac/or Onebox will simply suck up user visits like a vaccuum.

    I’d opt for videos within a heartbeat and pay google the $25 (is it monthly or what?)

  2. Hahaha. Your right, if @earlpearl were doing a pole dance, the video would probably beat out “pants on ground” as the biggest youtube recent hit.

    I think this new ad system is going to be very interesting. I can see how worth if you are in the 7 pack. But if a person is buried and they are paying, it will just be like an ineffective yellow page ad and you will have a lot of people saying “I paid google and didn’t get any traffic!”

    It will be interesting to see if this works outside the 7 pack on maps.

  3. @Mike: lets face it. a video of either You or I doing a pole dance would scare away anyone. OTOH….there is a member of the local seo 3 stooges that would probably get a lot of views ….. (not mentioning names) ;)

  4. @Nifty

    I agree that it would be of little value inside of Maps compared to showing in the 7 Pack. As Greg pointed out in his post, there is some highlighting within Maps, but it would seem that traffic is still too low to make the ad work.

    @Earl
    You would be my first choice for this endeavor

  5. @Nifty and @Mike. yeah…in the 7pac….probable nice feature…of course if everyone in the 7pac has it…I suppose it negates the advantage.

    If only in G maps and not the 7pac…big waste.

    @Mike OMG…I seriously worry about your taste in videos.

  6. Mike,

    Thanks you for keeping such a great info site going. Wanted to check in on this new local enhanced feature with a sample of a business that paid the $25, is in clear violation of Google Business naming rules, AND is now placed on maps when they should not be. Do a search for Data Recovery San Jose and notice the G listing for VNC Solutions. Notice on the map that they are physically located several miles from San Jose yet magically they appear in the local results. I have clients that we optimize for the city and keyword so I can vouch that this example company never placed in the local results prior to recently. So is Google providing preferred placement to businesses that pay $25 per month? Hmm…

    Mark

  7. @Mark

    Google’s urban boundaries often include nearby burbs in the main geo search…ie Scottsdale is in included in searches for Phoenix and Williamsville is included for searches for Buffalo NY. So I am not sure that is a big surprise.

    It is annoying that they are ranking with such a bogus business title. That alas is life in Google land. Long haul though, this sort of naming strategy is bad for the customer, bad for Google and ultimately bad for the business. It is a very short term ranking strategy.

    I doubt that the $25 payment has anything to to with placement.

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