For a long time Adwords has dominated the PPC search space but common entry barriers have lead Google to launch a new more simplified advertising system. In fact Google has been looking at a simplified advertising system for small businesses since 2007. It’s interesting because primarily small businesses have been put off by Adwords because of the failure to understand the system and the lack of resources to manage it.
The problems presented by Adwords are set to be removed by Google’s new Local Listing Ads. The name pretty much implies what it is. Essentially they are geographically targeted lisings which show above map listings which show above map listings in search. These ads are unlike Adwords in the fact that they just display the business name, url and contact details. The screenshot below gives you an idea of how they look.
Local listing ads will be charged at a flat rate starting at £20 a month. Businesses who want to use the new system must be in Google Local Business listings and the trial is currently only available in San Francisco and San Diego. The service also offers full tracking and if your business has a unique online number it can track that to.
I personally think the idea will be very attractive to small businesses as it requires no maintenance. It can also be setup very easily and show provide better coverage than sites such as Yell. I also think it will be interesting to see how well it works in the UK (if rolled out here). At PushON we tried a similar system offered by Yahoo and found the results fairly disappointing.
As always Google have put together a nice little video about the service which you can see below.