Google gives local advertising a BoostOctober 26, 2010: 4:04 PM ET
A new simplified space for creating geo-targeted ads might be just the ticket to get small business owners on to Google's ad platform.
Once a small business stakes its claim in Google's (GOOG) Places directory, they show up on Google's Maps search and in other geo-targeted results displays. But if they want to increase the chances of being found, Google has a new solution: Boost.
Boost is a simple way for businesses to put themselves on top of the location-based results that Google supplies to millions of people every day. Creating an ad is also much easier than signing up for a Google Adwords or Doubleclick account and dealing with those more complex systems.
To create your ad, all that is required is a short business description, a web or Place page, your business categories and a monthly budget. From there, our system automatically sets up your ad campaign - figuring out the relevant keywords that will trigger your ad to appear on Google and Google Maps, and how to get the most out of the budget you allotted. You'll only pay when a potential customer actually clicks on your ad, and you can also view basic ad performance data from your Google Places dashboard.
The ads then show up as illustrated below. The simplicity of the setup process and the immediate benefit to small local business will likely give Google's bottom line an additional (ugh) boost.