Google has made recent changes to their mobile search results, adding an ad as the first result in the local map 3-pack. The result looks consistent with the other organic map pack results, except the little green [Ad] icon. This is in addition to the two ads which can appear on mobile above the map ranking, making the first three results on mobile ads.
At this time, this new ad placement is only occurring on mobile search results. It’s expected this new ad format it will start showing on other device types (desktops, laptops, tablets) soon. The addition has made the local Google map pack results an ad plus three organic results for a total of four results.
How it Appears
Below is a screenshot showing how the ads appear on a smartphone on a search conducted in Olympia. The first image is how the ads appear at the top of the mobile results.
This next image is a continuation showing how the new ad format appears in the local map 3-pack.
The Benefits of the New Ad Spot
One of the great benefits of this new ad spot is that historically map results are tied closely to the proximity of the search or the city being searched for the service. For example, if you were plumbing company with an office in Seattle, you wouldn’t rank in the local pack for Bellevue plumbers without an office in Bellevue. With this new ad spot, you can.
Also, the ad does not affect your organic map result so you could appear twice in the map pack (ad + organic) and also still have an ad above the map results. Thus, you could have three search results in prime locations in the rankings.
How Can You Take Advantage of This Change?
Of course, you must be a Google AdWords advertiser to appear in the ad spot. The placement of an ad in the map pack search result is correlated with keyword bidding, location and quality score for the ad. For example, if you’re a plumbing company bidding for the keyword ‘plumbers’, your ad could appear for the local ad spot.
This new local map pack ad spot creates new opportunities to reach customers in Google search. It can also be used in conjunction with other powerful features such as call-only and AdWords price extensions and other ad extensions to have even more prominent listings.
Have questions? Contact us to start taking advantage of this important new Google local map pack ad spot in your AdWords campaign.