A few weeks ago when Google changed the name of the Local Business Center to Google Places they also introduced a few new features. One of those features was the ability to enhance your local Google maps listing with a sponsored advertisement which they call tags.
These yellow tags and corresponding links cost $25 and are a great way to make your business listing stand out. Depending on the type and completeness of your business listing, you will have some of these tags available to you:
Google says that sponsored tags won’t increase your business’s search engine rankings in Google Maps. However, I’ve worked with one client who paid for a sponsored listing so far and his rankings did indeed increase about 5 pages within just a few day. But, it’s tough to tell whether that had anything to do with paying for the sponsored ad or not. We have been working on improving his Google Maps listing potion for a couple of months, which appears to have a penalty applied to it. Shortly after we paid for his tag in Google Places, his company listing went from middle of page 11 to the top of page 6 in Google maps. But, he’s the only client I’ve worked with so far that has paid for a sponsored link.
We started his sponsorship on May 11th, 2010, and I notified him on May 14th that his listing had jumped five pages. It could have even sooner, but I can’t remember if I checked it between then. His listing had been sitting on page eleven for over a month.
Google also allows you to track the performance of your tag separately and experiment with it as well. You can find tag settings by clicking the “View Reports” link under the specific listing on your business listings page.
Overall, these sponsor tags seem like a great way to make your local business stand out right now, but how’s a sponsor listing going to remain distinctive when more and more businesses start using them?