Google has been slowly ramping local search monetization over time. It introduced local search ads in early 2017, which put ads in local packs, and began putting ads in local Knowledge Panels roughy two years ago. Now, the company is starting to show competitor ads in local business profiles.
A ‘Local Campaign’ placement. Part of Local Campaigns, the ads are designed to drive visits to local businesses and retail locations. These fully automated units run across Google properties, including search, Maps, GDN and YouTube.
Ben Fisher first noticed this development last week. Here’s his smartphone screengrab:
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