Many Google searchers have noticed ads showing up on the Local Finder page – the page Google shows when a searcher clicks through from a local 3-pack in the regular organic search results. But it seems like Google has made some significant changes to Google AdWords that affects many advertisers, especially those who use location extensions and have opted out of search partners for their ads.
Google sent out an email to their advertisers detailing the changes to reflect these new ads appearing within the Local Finder. Here’s what you need to know:
Maps Now Considered Core Google for AdWords
This might not sound like a big deal, but it actually is. Previously, Google considered Google Maps to be part of their search partners, something that was easy for advertisers to opt out of – and many do. But now Maps will be considered a core Google search site, so available ad impressions for local queries will go up.
Location Extensions Only on Google Maps
Part of the change means that only ads with location extensions will be available to show on Google Maps. This matches what I saw in my own testing – that the local ads were set up with specific local information such as distance, in order to match the organic results.
If you are using location extensions but do not advertise on search partners, you could suddenly find a large increase in impressions, clicks and spend as the ads begin showing up on Maps. It is hard to know what kind of an impact this will have, but it shouldn’t take long for advertisers to share data from their own experiences.
Can You Opt Out Now?
It doesn’t sound as though advertisers can specifically opt out of Maps, since it is considered a Google site search. However, if you do not run location extensions, your ads will not appear.
Here is the email from Google AdWords that was sent to advertisers:
Dear AdWords Advertiser,
Your AdWords account contains ads that are using location extensions or are showing on Google Maps for relevant local searches. Over the coming week, we are making changes to search ads on Google Maps, which may impact your campaign impressions and spend.
What’s changing with search ads on Google Maps
Google Maps will now be considered a core Google search site and no longer part of search partners. If you are opted out of search partners, your location extension ads may start to show on Google Maps.
With this update, location extensions are now required for ads on Google Maps; standard text ads leading to websites will no longer be shown. We’re making these changes to create a more seamless, relevant ad experience on Google Maps. This will begin with the Google Maps Android app and roll out to the desktop site and iOS app later in the year.
If you are not currently using location extensions on all or some of your campaigns, learn how to set them up here to continue promoting your business locations in Google Maps.
If you are already using location extensions, no further action is needed. Monitor campaign performance as you may see an increase in impressions and clicks. If you have campaigns opted out of search partners and are using location extensions, your ads may start appearing on relevant local search results on Google Maps.
For more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or visit our Help Center.
The Google AdWords Team
So if you have opted out of the search network and are using location extensions, be prepared for the extra impressions, clicks and ad spend related to these changes,
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