Google ‘Boost’ Local Advertising To Boost Local Business

Google has just launched Boost, a location-based ad product for local businesses.

Built on Google Places, Boost beta is available in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago right now and will roll out to more cities soon.

Boost ads show up when users search for local businesses; they appear in the “sponsored links” section of Google’s web search and Google Maps, as well. Ads will appear when the right combination of vertical keyword (e.g., “restaurants”) and location keyword (e.g., “San Francisco”) is met.

The ads can contain basic location information, such as the address, business name and phone number, as well as more consumer-focused tidbits, including a star ratings, number of reviews received and a special Maps marker.

Business owners can create Boost ads from within their Google Places account. Initial setup is simple, and campaign management is automatic; all the business owner needs to do is set a budget, and Google’s advertising algorithm takes care of the details of placement and frequency.

We see this product as a preemptive strike against Facebook Places advertising. (To date, Facebook has only announced cursory guidelines for Places use by businesses; no ads are yet being sold for this product.)

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