Google Maps Offering 30 days of FREE advertising with Google Tag Sign Up

This evening Google has announced a plan to provide 30 days of Google Tags free (hat tip to Taylor Cimala of Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing & Jeffrey Magner of Trumpet Local Media ). The following is being sent to businesses with listings in Google Places (It is of interest that even Google still feels the need to note that it was formerly referred to as the Local Business Center):

© Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043.

Email preferences: We sent you this email because you have indicated that you are willing to receive promotions about related Google products. If you do not wish to receive such emails in the future, please visit the settings tab of your Google Places homepage ( – Places login required), uncheck the box next to ‘Special Offers’, and click ‘Save Changes.’

Terms and Conditions. Promotional credit is only valid when signing up for new Google Tags listings. Promotional credit allows for $25.00 of free Google Tags advertising (equal to 30 days free for one listing). This credit can be spent on one tag listing, or it can be applied across multiple tags listings and $25.00 will be deducted from your monthly billing statement. Advertisers will be charged for advertising that exceeds the promotional credit, which is $25.00, per listing, per month. If you don’t want to be charged for the additional months, you can pause your tags at any time and your charges will be pro-rated for that month. Google Tags are subject to ad approval, valid registration and acceptance of the Google Places and Google Tags Program terms and conditions. The promotional credit is non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. Offer may be revoked at any time for any reason by Google Inc. One promotional credit per customer.

Clearly the income opportunities for Google with this product are significant both short and long term. They have recently noted that 2 million businesses have claimed their listing in Maps. If only 10% of those users sign up for Tags, Google will generate $60 million per year.

It strikes me that Tags will create a virtuous cycle of sign ups for Google. As businesses see them being used by competitors and appear on other searches that they do, they will be inclined to sign up for them or at least inquire about them and sign up for a Google Places account.

There is large upside income potential looking out 12-24 months. If Google manages to get to 5 million claimed listings and 30% of those businesses sign up for Tags they would be looking at $450 million annually.

It is no wonder that they are playing with new 7-pack layout.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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7 thoughts on “Google Maps Offering 30 days of FREE advertising with Google Tag Sign Up”

  1. Hi Mike,
    I do some informal SEO/SEM work for my wife’s interior design business and a local bankruptcy attorney and dentist. All are located in the suburbs about 25 miles outside of Boston. In each case the businesses only get an average of 10-12 maps impressions per day. The search queries that drive those impressions are good but not great despite careful use of business categories in the places listing. My sense is that once you get outside an urban area maps impressions drop off dramatically.
    All of that leads to the question of ROI on Tags. Is there any evidence yet that the average business gets any reasonable return on Tags? I know there are ways to set up Google Analytics to track Maps click through data. I haven’t done it because it hasn’t seemed worth it. Are you aware of any feedback which indicates that Tags are working for the majority of businesses which are not urban, high profile Maps entities? Thanks for the updates.

  2. Mike: Is the claim of 2 M businesses having claimed their listings unique to the US or overall?

    Per a number of sources a typical IYP (I’m assuming US) has a about 15 million businesses listed.

    In a sense, its amazing that google has 2 M claimed. They have done it without a “feet on the street” salesforce. That is amazing. It saves a lot of money. It also means those 2 M businesses are receiving google updates, emails, newsletters…and above all a variety of opportunities to spend money with google.

    It could come from tags; it could come with PPC. It could come with other products to be delivered.

    That is a large opportunity. Meanwhile the growth of claimed listings continues. When a business without a claimed listing sees a competitor w/ a compelling tag…maybe that gets the business to claim a listing.

    I suspect as long as Google continues to grow the claimed listing inventory it will continue to grow its revenues.

    David: One thing that is different from strict ROI is simply looking to grow relevant traffic to your clients. I suspect that any single new customer for any of those clients more than pays for the $25/month fee for tags.

    In a sense I don’t care if my visitors/(potential customers) come from organic results, maps/places a “tag” or PPC. I want the visitors..then I want the opportunity to turn them into a customer.

    Overall I’m interested in the percentage of all traffic for relevant phrases that comes to my site. I can find that by running PPC. That gives me impressions.

    Then I’m interested in gaining the searchers any way they want to get to the site. If Tags increases that number….I’m happy with that result.

  3. Man…how come i didn’t get that email for free tag. I had one for a couple months and didn’t see any change in my views in google places. And got a total of 2 actions based on the tag.

    I would rather spend that $50 on adwords and get an actual 25-50 clicks for the money. I mean how is going to look when every listing has a tag…back to nothing to differentiate the listings.

  4. I haven’t received this offer from Google, but my friend who is having a used cars website in Kerala (South of India) got this offer both through email and by postal mail. I think he got this offer since his website is for business on a particular location and who is approved on Google’s local business listing.

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