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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Google Search Goes Offline, Bumps Ad?

Looks like core Google search results are now incorporating offline, local results. From the Google blog:
Many people come to to navigate the web, but are you aware that you can use it to navigate the real world as well? Over the past few months, we've been hard at work making it easier to find and compare local businesses and services right from the standard web results page.
Here's what I'm currently seeing for a "starbucks columbia md" search, above the standard search results:

starbucks columbia md google search

Hmm. Looks pretty cool for the end user and could be good for small business, but I wonder what impact this will have for AdWords advertisers. This takes up a fair amount of the screen real estate and focuses attention away from the ads. I wonder if Google will drop the number of ads they'll display per page to make room. Trying some other searches, I think they're only dropping off 1 ad spot. Whereas they used to show up to 11 ads per page in some cases, I'm only seeing 10 when there are local results - 2 ads across the top and 8 down the right side. Then again, the number of ads across the tops varies from 0-3 in the standard search results. I do wonder, though, if this will change to 0-2 if local search results are included.

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Anonymous TTDave said...

So, you're saying the Starbucks listings are not paid ads, right? They're just listings made convenient for the Google user.

Well, given the well documented eye-catching power of images, that certainly cuts the effectiveness of the surrounding text-only ads.

Tue Jan 30, 11:53:00 AM EST  
Blogger Richard said...

Right, they're not paid ads. They're local listings from Google Maps placed ahead of Google search results. They do draw attention away from the paid listings. This will help some local businesses who happen to be listed in the first few local results but will harm those who advertise with Google.

Tue Jan 30, 04:52:00 PM EST  

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