The announcement of the new Local PlusBox by Google Adwords which places geographical information in the top paid search location changes the PPC strategy for those using more local targeting. The new expandable feature allows advertisers to bid to the top spot in an effort to have the opportunity to display such valuable information as a map, address, driving instructions, and phone number, in addition to the location name that appears beneath the last line of the paid search ad.

I tried a ton of searches so I could provide a visual example, but could not come up with one - which means it hasn't been totally rolled out yet or opportunity is there to be an early adopter. I grabbed the images from the Google Adwords blog post announcing the new feature:

PlusBox Information Closed

PlusBox-Closed.jpg
PlusBox Information Open

PlusBox-Expanded.jpg
Here are a couple of reasons I really like this new feature:

  • The Adwords ads need a slight tweak in appearance to get back on people's visual radar. After looking at the same look, feel, and format for so long searchers eventually put their blinders on to the ads. This might catch some attention and give some new life to the ads.
  • This format ads a little more incentive to grabbing that top spot. That addition, in my opinion, makes it far more likely that a searcher will see and interact with your ad.
  • Possibly the most important factor is that the advertiser is NOT charged if a searcher opens the PlusBox and grabs a phone number and driving directions. You're only charged if the searcher clicks on your ad and comes to your site. This could save local advertisers some money while still enhancing the experience for the searcher.
  • Another benefit is that advertisers will be encouraged to localize their ad efforts where possible which I think makes the search engine user's experience all that more efficient.
The only real drawback I see is the effect this has on other advertisers on the SERP who don't get that top spot. This has the potential to lower click-through-rates unless you're able to either improve your Quality Score or bid higher to get into that top spot.


December 17, 2007





Patrick Schaber is currently the Director of Marketing for Transition Networks, Inc – a data networking hardware manufacturer. His experience working for both large and small organizations has given him keen insights into many facets of marketing including, email marketing, advertising, search engine marketing, social media and more. Along with trainings and industry speaking engagements, Patrick authors his own site, The Lonely Marketer, which focuses on the diverse activities and culture related to the small business marketer.






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Search Engine Guide > Patrick Schaber > AdWords Local PlusBox A Great Addition