Local Listings & Google LBC Ad

A number of people have commented on my remark that Google’s Local Listing Ads “don’t compete with AdWords.” I spoke quickly and not very clearly, or I didn’t accurately convey what I meant. What I meant was that the Local Listing advertisers don’t compete in the AdWords marketplace — not that the ads themselves don’t compete with AdWords.

In fact the Local Listing Ads are more prominent than AdWords in some respects because the blue pushpin makes them “pop.” See this example:

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Though there’s no creative/ad copy the Local Listing Ads are visually more prominent and thus could well drive more clicks than traditional AdWords for local lookups. So yes in this sense they do compete.

Separately I was just made aware of a trial TV and online video campaign for Google’s LBC. The narration is by Google’s Carter Maslan beginning a new career as voice-over talent:

Seriously, this is very effective and if something like this is done for the Local Listing Ads it could be quite successful.

To those who believe that Local Listing Ads will never “work” because they’re not being “sold” I would say think again. We’re entering a new period when many local businesses will be motivated to self-provision if the value is clear and the tools are simple.

8 Responses to “Local Listings & Google LBC Ad”

  1. Tom Crandall Says:

    Judging by the competitiveness of local business results, even in towns <10,000, it is a safe bet Local Listing Ads will require some sort of waiting list. Upon demand Google could even break up categories to specific mini-categories and bolster inventory.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I suspect you’re correct and that such a move will have to take place.

  3. Local Search Source Says:

    I think Tom makes a valid observation – it’s interesting. By breaking up into “categories” would Local Listings become more of an IYP? And as demand increases and inventory becomes more competitive, would Google than monetize placement of listings (#1, #2, etc)? We’ve been talking about how local search and IYP models will someday begin to merge – this may be steps towards that?

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    In the sense that there are already categories in the Google LBC then they are similar but the products themselves and the user experiences are quite different. And Google’s focus on the consumer and its reliance on self-service for the advertiser are different, although in that respect there’s some coming together.

  5. Arjun Srinivasan Says:

    Nice article.

    The video piece through Google is cool I agree. I think that’s where opportunity sleeps… the inventory is there – local TV – has anyone tried this yet?

    “breaking into specific mini-categories” but is that not what search is? i can drill down to the specific type of attorney I seek, and get ads delivered to that niche – why would I need categories?

  6. Ryan Says:

    It won’t be self-provision. It will be purcHASED.

    Ever wondered what you would do for business after all your big clients have sites?


    People will hire
    Internet marketing help to have them manage and consult for their local listings.

  7. Google Expands “Google Google” Enterprise Ad Campaign Says:

    […] less inhibited about doing traditional media advertising, which it has done for Maps, Transit, the LBC, Chrome, Book Search (court-ordered) and AdWords/AdSense. There’s also a ton of advertising […]

  8. tommy Says:

    I have found that it is possible to saturate the LBC through phone numbers as this is the typical verification mode. I take numbers of failed competitors and use them to list my business multiple times. As you plug your name at the top one can also slide in a few critical key words and or phrases helping boost the search. The ZIP & address don’t seem to have significance in this move. I now stack on top of myself 3-5 times within various search criteria.

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