This has very interesting implications for local businesses that need to reach customers more effectively on the web.  Can they combine the type of retailer based on the name they searched with other retailers that pay to advertise.  For example if i search on Joe’s Auto Parts. Miami, FL will I see advertisements for other Auto Parts stores in the area around Joe’s on the map?  That would be powerful and would prove the power of Internet marketing to those that have chosen not to jump into the web as yet, because they see no value (i.e. mom and pop retail outlets) beyond their yellow pages listing on the web. While valuable for national advertisers like hotel chains, I see a greater impact for locals.

  • How will Google sell this?
  • Will there be enough of a need to have an impact?
  • What are the usage levels for Google’s maps?
  • Will local review sites have eno-ugh since to integrate the map data into their web site and will Google pay revenue for those types of advertisers in teerms of pay per click on Google Maps?

This opens a whole new realm of advertising possibilities.

Google Tests Local Ads on Maps

Google is experimenting with plotting local advertisers’ locations on its Maps product, giving marketers a visual and spatial accompaniment to their locally targeted ads.

A search on “hotels” in New York City returns an organic list of local hotels, plotted on the map with red markers and bracketed by sponsored hotel listings, plotted on the map with blue markers. The same search in other locations, such as San Francisco, doesn’t yet return the paid listings.

So far, InterContinental Hotels and Starwood brands appear to be participating in the test.