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Google Inches Closer to Local Search
By: Jeff Louis
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Can you feel it? The World Wide Web is creeping closer, inching its way into your backyard. Interestingly, as the World Wide Web focuses on the more finite, or local search, it actually expands. It's just one of those mysteries...

Geotagging has become the latest "it" buzzword, and if unfamiliar with the term, it's defined as:

Geotagging, (sometimes referred to as Geocoding), is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as websites, RSS feeds, or images.

So, what's the big deal?

Google is moving one step closer to providing highly-targeted ads by launching address extensions for local business ads. Local extensions provide advertisers with the abilities to extend their AdWords campaigns by including the advertiser's address with the ads. Although not fully available yet, the feature should be integrated into the AdWords platform by the end of August 2009.

"If you own a business, you can create extensions by linking an AdWords campaign to your Local Business Center (LBC) account," explains Emel Mutlu of Google's Inside AdWords Crew. "If you are not the primary business owner of the locations you are advertising, you can manually enter addresses directly into AdWords."

Local advertisers are able to add the extensions to their Local Business Center account by joining it with their pre-existing, or new, AdWords account. It is also possible to add it manually. Here's a quick introduction to Local Business Center in case you're not familiar.

 

Note that new addresses, or those that are not in the Google database, are difficult to set-up. There is a petition process that requires forms sent to Google, followed by a waiting period for address verification.

With these latest extensions, local business ads will no longer be a separate ad type, being merged into local ads. Then, by using the new extensions, regular ads can be made to behave just like a local business ad, removing the need for a separate format. The new ads will be identical to local business ones and will be carried in the same places as before.

As Google expands, the world becomes smaller. Or, perhaps it's the other way around.
 


   

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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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