It seems that Google is now selling paid pins or sponsored links in Google Maps on mobile.
I was on my way to Bruce Clay’s SEO training in Sydney city and I had to get off the bus a few blocks from where I needed to be, so I looked up the Marriot Hotel, Pitt St, Sydney on my iPhone GPS. Before the location pin had even dropped on the map there was a paid search listing for the Swissotel, as seen below.
This is the first time I’ve seen a paid local search ad on Google Maps. I know that the 7 pack local search listings are showing up far more often on page one of Google’s search engine results pages and Google places is absolutely going to influence future local search listings but to date none of them had shown up significantly in mobile search listings. It seems the tide is turning and Google’s investment in local search and mobile search are starting to come together.
The above paid search listing on mobile showed up on the iPhones native GPS app which is a mashup with Google Maps.
As you can see from the below image, the same search for the Marriot Hotel, Pitt St, Sydney in Google’s App on the same iPhone, delivered the same paid search listing for the Swisshotel but not in a map format. I’m interested to see that Google is integrating with the iPhone apps – I’ve never seen this before.
All we can say for sure is that paid search marketing is definitely getting more personalised with local listings and now mixing in with not only the mobile device but also the apps.
Have you come across paid local search listings in your mobile GPS?