Those “Simple Ads” never materialized publicly — until today. A version of the concept has now been introduced (in test form) as “Google Local Listing Ads.” Here are the high-level points a from a brief call with Google this evening:
- These are new ad units that will appear both on Google.com (above the “10 Pack”) in local results and in Google Maps. They will not therefore compete with AdWords
- They will not carry any creative, just business name and contact details — and a link/URL
- The URL in the ad can be directed to Place Pages (confirming this earlier speculation from last week) or to a website
- The ads are priced on a flat-fee basis (but prices vary by market and category). Google would not disclose the range, but I believe they begin at $20 per month and may go up to $200 or more dollars. But they’re experimenting with pricing. The first month is free.
- To participate the business must have a verified presence in the Google LBC
In many respects, these ads bear a strong resemblance to a program that Yahoo has been running for several years, Local Featured Listings. Yahoo has reportedly had huge success with its enhanced listing product. But the company has not disclosed numbers for its higher-priced Featured Listings offering. [via SearchEngineLand]