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Monday, March 27, 2006

What does Google Map Ads mean for Pay Per Click

Google amazes me once again. They create the ever so popular Google Maps. They release an API for Google Maps which encourages thousands of developers to create "Mash-Ups" using Google Maps. These Mash-Ups are all over the web from blogs to their own independent web sites. And just last week, SEW reported there were paid ads on Google Maps.

I can hear the Guiness guys right now, 'Brilliant!'

These paid ads on the maps, rumored to be called GeoAds, are just another place where Google can sneak another hand into your wallet and take a few more nickels for their piggy bank.

There isn't any information out there as to how to get your ad showing on the GeoAds but I suspect it will be integrated into Adwords in some fashion, sort of like what Google has done with Adsense and the content network.

The more I think about GeoAds as I write this, the more questions I come up with:
If you are already listed in Google Local (where Google Maps gets its' info), why would you pay to have another symbol included? The only logical reason could be so you can place a little bit of ad text next to your link, a link which is already included in the organic listing on Google Maps.

What metric will decide a successful GeoAds campaign? Usually, if someone is using Google Local / Google Maps then they are looking for a brick and mortar store to visit, if they click on your GeoAd and decide to come to your store, how will a conversion be measured? You can't measure the success or failure of a campaign w/o having some data to back it up.

Will Google start charging for inclusion in Google Local? Highly un-likely but I was trying to think why these ads have developed , other then to steal a few nickels from highly irrelevant clicks.

My main concern is the relevancy of the clicks. A user using Google Maps or Google Local is obviously looking for a retail shop of some kind and I can not imagine many scenarios where those people, even if they happen to click on the ad, will convert into an online measurable sale.

Overall, I first thought this was an ingenious idea. Have the users create all sorts of outlets for your GeoAds via Google Maps API, and I still think that is a great idea, but the actual success of GeoAds has to answer some questions first. Starting with mine.

By Evan Roberts at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

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