Imagine that in a search engine results page there are four paid ads on the top and three more sponsored local listings – that is seven at the top of every page. This will be known as a” Local Pack” and will be known as Google Home Service Ads.
See the below image.
Google Home Service Ads
These are known as Google Home Service Ads and are sponsored listings in a Google Local Pack.
This beta ads service was launched in July 2015 and was an invite only service for plumbers and locksmiths in the California Bay area to become Google Guaranteed Service Providers and appear near the top of the newly “Sponsored” Local Pack.
This pilot program has now expanded to other parts of the US and includes handyman, electricians and cleaners.
Home service ads has also expanded to mobile search and now show up complete with service area maps.
Although at the minute you will only find these ads if searching for locksmiths or plumbers in the San Fran Bay area it could only be a matter of time that these are rolled out both nationally and across the google network.
Check it out here
So if Sponsored Listings aren’t available in my Industry Do I Need To Worry?
So if your not a locksmith, plumber, house cleaner or electrician in San Francisco do I need to worry? Absolutely you do. Whether we like it or not paid inclusion is here to stay and it is only a matter of time before all business types.
At the end of the day Google are in this to make money, therefore it is in their interests to monetise local listings across all industries and nationally.
Why and How Could This Happen?
If you are playing a ‘fee’ to be ranked at the top of local listings, even with an ad designation attached, this is paid inclusion.
You pay and you jump over everyone else.
This is an outstanding revenue opportunity for Google and will spread quickly. As you do with PPC ( Adwords ) you will get more keyword data using Google Home Service Ads.
The starkly worrying aspect is that the way this is heading, business owners will have little choice but to buy Google Home Service Ads.
Paid inclusion ( Home Service Ads) will become the only chance local business will have to appear in Local Search Packs.
What Is the Timeline On This?
You could be looking that within 12 months paid inclusion becomes a reality across all industries. Local listings have always been a Google owned directory and paid inclusion has been talked about for years.
The expansion of Google Home Service Ads will ultimately replace traditional SEO and PPC as the first traffic drawing tactic for a business
You must pay attention to Google Home Service Ads as they start to roll out across all industries. You will need to strengthen your local SEO strategy and look to increase your local listing budget to stay in the game and be included in Googles Home Service Ads.