While searching from my Android phone using Google Chrome on June 27, 2016, I noticed something new.. Ads displaying about the map and local results in Google mobile search. I googled around and there has been chatter about this for 4 or 5 days now, so this is definitely a brand new feature in Google search.
This feature is very likely to come to desktop soon. For the last couple of years Google has taken a “mobile first” approach to google search, so whatever happens on mobile is likely to occur on desktop shortly thereafter.
I do not like this update
I do not like this change for a variety of reasons (please note, the change may be a temporary test).
- Businesses who have worked hard or are the best usually rank well organically which highly correlates with good rankings in local search results (map results).
- Businesses which are highly reviewed are now pushed down even lower under paid positions.
- I also feel a bit like google is selling out; instead of using their algorithms to rank businesses, will Google alter search results to simply go to the highest bidder?
- The ads do not look like ads.. Maybe this is just a test, but the current results look organic, which is very deceptive. Anyone who has studied user behavior knows that a significant amount of people like to avoid ads. Will Google try to trick their users?
How many ads can display above the local pack?
I have seen 1, 2, 3, and 4 ads displaying above the local pack and maps results. Unfortunately, Google has yet to inform us of how many ads will display above the map.
Here is a screenshot of a mobile search for Chicago Chiropractors which is the only result I could quickly locate displaying FOUR ads above the local results:
Does this apply to all businesses?
I noticed the ad while doing a search for chiropractors. I rarely search for this topic; it was a total fluke. I have yet to see if this will display for other businesses such as massage therapists, attorneys, plastic surgeons, real estate brokers or mortgage brokers.