Search giant hopes to help local businesses easily increase their exposure on its engine.
Google is testing a new local search ad product called Boost, which allows business to advertise their Google Places business listing alongside location specific search terms, as well as pinpoint their location on maps within Google's search results.
The ads will appear in the sponsored links section of Google's results pages, and can include basic information such as a company name, address, phone number, and website, but also user reviews and ratings pulled in from their Places page. A user searching for Asian restaurants in San Francisco, for example, might be presented with an ad for a specific restaurant alongside its location on a map within the organic results that would be served for that query.
Writing in a blog post today, Google Product Manager Kiley McEvoy said the product is intended to "provide busy local business owners with a quick and easy way to share information about themselves with the people who look for them online."
To run a campaign, business owners need only provide a business description, a Web destination or Google Places page, a business category, and a monthly budget. From there, Google said it will automatically determine keywords and optimize ads. No ongoing management is needed, as is recommended with standard AdWords campaigns.
At launch, the program will only be available in San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago. Google says it will evaluate data from the trials before deciding to roll out the service in other locations.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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