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“As a consultant and a person, Nina operates with unvarnished integrity. She’s an honest communicator, knows her material, and puts the needs of her clients above all. Whether you’re a big firm or a small organization, I would give her an unqualified recommendation.” — Sam Richter, Former President James J. Hill Reference Library

Google Local Beta Brings Sponsored Results to Maps

Just when you thought you had gotten used to recent changes at Google Local Business Center & maps, they throw a little bomb at you.

What you see below is an example of this bomb—a sponsored site creeping into what was formerly a space reserved for organic map results only.

Their intentions are clear—to draw in the $29 billion pool of small businesses that may feel overwhelmed and overbid in today’s online landscape by offering a $25/month enhanced listing that shows up with organic search results. People with a local business account can choose and alternate between seven ways to promote their enhanced listing: photos, videos, link to site, coupons, directions, menu and reservations.

 Google Enhanced Listing

 

The problem has always been how to tap into such a wide base of small businesses that historically doesn’t spend much money in online advertising while making it profitable. A problem companies like Dex and Yellow Pages continue to struggle with.

Google began cracking this shell last year by offering a way to measure the results of the Local Business Center, making it really easy for small businesses to see how many people are getting directions to their store, printing a coupon, or clicking through.

Right now this is only available in Houston and San Jose, but expect that this will grow as Google continues on its quest: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Click here to read the original New York Times article.

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by +Nina Hale, Inc.

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