Google Suspends Local Listing Ads — For Now

Today Google announced that the company was suspending Local Listing Ads, for the time being:

“Starting today, we will no longer accept new sign-ups for Local Listing Ads in the Local Business Center, and in mid-December, existing Local Listing Ads will stop running. This limited free trial was one of many beta tests that we develop experimentally as part of our ongoing commitment to help businesses advertise online.

We’re currently using data and feedback from the trial period to make further improvements to our online marketing offerings for small businesses, and plan to release an enhanced version more widely in the near future. In the meantime, locally-minded businesses can simply and easily promote their products and services to their local markets by using existing features within our AdWords program, such as geographic targeting and location extensions.”

I spoke briefly to Google and they reiterated that this was to evaluate feedback and improve the product for release some time next year. The company also reiterated its commitment to the SMB/local advertising segment.

One interesting thing to speculate about is: what changes we might see when it relaunches and will there be promotion of this program in a more traditional form (e.g., advertising)?

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.beginnerblogger.com/ Sarge

    That’s a bit of a bummer. I’m new to the world of PPC and google advertising (and not that this change affects me) but does that mean that local businesses can no longer put their business locations on google maps anymore.

    Well for the time being while google analyses the data and improves their services.

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

  • zankhana

    Just waiting to see what other interesting features Google brings when it relaunches the service again.

  • http://holmesonlocal.wordpress.com/ HolmesOnLocal

    Definitely sorry to see it go. I had some very excited clients in San Diego. I just posted an interesting analysis of the Local Listing Ads for data that I found in San Diego. Check it out at: http://holmesonlocal.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.weblinkplus.com WeblinkPlus

    Just when we’re doing so well on LBC :-(

    To be honest with the poor handling of duplicate entries, some of which are generated by google themselves, there is definitely a need for something to be improved…

  • http://www.weblinkplus.com WeblinkPlus

    Dammit, just realised this is refering to the sponsored ads, not the free LBC listing…

  • http://WickCentric.com Wickerpedia

    @HolmesOnLocal

    Were your interested clients’ small businesses? What did they specifically like about it that differed from the LBC or standard PPC (with a Local Extension) ad?

    I have serious doubts whether the introduction of yet another ad type is going to help Google’s attempt to increase LBC adoption. I am still amazed by how many small business have yet to register their free listing let alone consider paying a flat fee. That is…without a little push from a marketing company.

    I wrote about it in an aptly name post, “Why the Local Listing Ad must change or die.” http://wickcentric.com/

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