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Google AdWords Location Ad Extensions Provide a Visible Boost To Local Map PPC Listings

Google AdWords Location Ad Extension with Grey Pin on PPC Text Ad

Google AdWords Location Ad Extension

Over the past few years Google has been implementing small, but significant, formatting and functional changes to their search result pages, as well as the release and upgrade of several ad extensions like the Location Extension shown in the image to the right.

The Location Ad Extension, with it’s grey pin, has morphed over time to look more and more like the Google+Local page pin (formerly known as Google Places pages). There are several theories as to why the free Google Places listings, AdWords PPC Ads, and even standard organic “free” listings, have started to look alike, and most people align with one of these two points of view:

A) To create a more unified experience for users between the organic search results and pay per click ads.


B) To blend the look, format and function of the free and paid listings so that searchers can have a hard time making the distinction between them, thus reducing their ability to choose between which type of listing they would like to click on. Basically, tricking surfers into clicking on the higher listed ppc ads more often than the organic “free” listings that Google generates no revenue from.

The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

The following image should provide you with a good example of this. (click to enlarge)

Google AdWords Pay Per Click SERP with Location Ad Extensions with Annotations

Google AdWords Location Ad Extensions SERP with Annotations

The Visible Difference

Sometimes you just have to compare two examples to see how noticeable and powerful one can be from the other. This screencapture of a “dentist” SERP was captured about an hour before the following screencapture of the same SERP WITH Location Ad Extensions (including grey pins). Comparing the two like this makes it very clear how much PPC ads standout with the additional location pins.

“Dentist” SERP (click to enlarge)

Original Google SERP without AdWords Pay Per Click Ads Containing Location Ad Extensions

Original Google SERP without Location Ad Extensions

“Dentist” SERP With Several Location Ad Extensions (click to enlarge)

Google SERP with AdWords PPC Ads Containing Location Ad Extensions

Google SERP with AdWords Location Ad Extensions

Location Ad Extension Results

Since the addresses and phone number associated with each of the grey pins on the text ads are being pulled in by the Location Ad Extension, you can expect the results to be different between ads with and without location extensions. Because of this new visual attraction, local ads with location extensions can provide an even greater boost to CTR (click through rate). Here is a sample pulled from a current campaign that shows just how much of a boost you can receive.

Google AdWords Pay Per Click Location Ad Extensions Results

Google AdWords PPC Location Ad Extension Results

Of course each campaign, ad group, and ad will have different results. Thus, it is a best practice to test location extension ads against non-location extension ads to determine a clear winner.

Happy PPC’n!

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Reader Comments

  • Tony Tellijohn | June 07, 2012

    I think they’ve been using the blue pins for a while now? I remember seeing them…at least a few weeks ago.

    Makes me laugh, though–I was just recently thinking back to one of the first meetings I had with a Google Ad Sales rep back in probably 2003 (yes, they actually had outside sales reps back in the day–more so when the top 2 ad spots were sold separately from the ads in the right column, and I think were sold on a CPM basis).

    He told us flat out (partly paraphrased, as my memory isn’t THAT good) “Google will never ad a third ad spot to the top of the page. They will never try to trick users. That’s just not the way they operate. It’s about the user experience.”


  • Google’s “Pavlov’s Dogs”: The User and The Advertiser : Bryant Garvin | June 21, 2012

    […] all day)  leading up to the latest as pointed out by my friend James Svoboda on his blog post Adwords location extensions added to map as pins. Latest changes with Map on SERP with Location Extension Pins […]

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