If Google Maps plays a role in your business’s local search marketing efforts, you may be affected by a new change that Google has been testing for the past few weeks. As Google continues to tinker with the placement and look of ads in both desktop and mobile SERPS, that tinkering is also taking place on Google Maps.
Purple Pins for Ads; Red Pins for Organic
Users who search for local businesses on Google Maps will now see some purple-colored pins dotting their results in between all of the other red-colored organic pins. These purple pins are for paid-placement ads, which allow businesses to boost their local search marketing placements on Google Maps.
Those same businesses appear at the top of the results in the left column of Google Maps when searches are made. The left column listing for the business contains a small purple box that explicitly labels the listing as an “Ad.”
Google Balancing Ads vs. User Trust
This is yet another example of Google’s attempts to integrate ads without compromising the quality of its search results. By color-coding its pins, Google makes it easy for users to differentiate paid-placement ads from red organic results. Google has been working hard for the past few years to find the right balance between ads and organic results, since the company relies on both user trust and ad-based revenue.
Benefits for Local Search Marketing
For local search marketing teams, there are benefits to the purple pins for ad listings. So far, Google is only showing one ad for each Google Maps search and that listing appears prominently on the text-based left-column results. By using color-coded pins and limiting the number of ads per search, Google has made it easy for your ad to “pop” out from other search results.
With this feature still in testing, we’ll probably see more tweaks before Google rolls out a permanent version of color-coded ads. That means it will likely be a few months before we have hard data on how this changes the value, success rate, and ROI of using Google Maps ads for local search marketing.
Work with a team on the cutting edge of local search marketing. Contact Qiigo today (888) 673-1212 to unlock your digital potential.