I spent today at SMX Advanced Local – a Workshop hosted by the inimitable Greg Sterling in conjunction with the greater SMX Advanced Conference. I talked about advanced linkbuilding, but was mostly interested in the talk preceding mine from Google’s Ali Turhan who shed some light on upcoming changes in local advertising. As far as Greg knew (and he would know) – this was the first time Google has really talked publicly in any level of depth about the upcoming sponsored (read: ads) maps listings.
What are ‘promoted pins”?
Very simply, the promoted pins are a way to buy yourself onto mapped local results – to hell with reviews, links, NAP etc – these are a color coded (i.e. visually delineating between sponsored vs. natural) pins that show up on the Google map interface in local results.
Why this is (another) game changer (again).
Ali mentioned many times they are still experimenting with exactly how these would function. However, he kept coming back to what seems to be a default plan: one promoted pin within the map interface. When pressed – my read was that maps would continue to have just 3 results – with 1 of them being “promoted”. So the local pack looks like it has just shrunk again – from 3 down to 2 organically listed results (ahhh- remember those wonder years of the 7 pack.)
While it has yet to be seen exactly how these sponsored pins perform, I can only imagine the extremely high click through rates commanded within the legal industry. Especially on mobile devices, primed for that first initial inquiry from a potential client.