Google investigating Local Services Ads bug

by | Feb 24, 2024 | Digital Marketing, Google, Google Ads, Paid social, PPC

Google is currently investigating a bug in its Local Services Ads (LSA) that is causing businesses to appear in search results for their competitors’ names. This issue arose shortly after Google introduced branded LSAs, known as Direct Business Search ads, which allow brands to show up in search results when users directly search for a specific brand or business. Google has clarified that only the business associated with the queried brand should appear in search results, and charges will be incurred only for leads from new customers.

The concern over this bug lies in the fact that when users search for a specific brand, their intention is to find that particular brand, not a general service or product. If competitors are appearing in the search results for queries related to a business’s name, Google not only fails to meet user intent but also risks redirecting customers to competitors.

The bug was initially highlighted by SEO consultant Joy Hawkins, who noticed businesses appearing in search results for competitor names, leading to confusion and dissatisfaction among businesses. Google Ads Liaison Officer Ginny Marvin acknowledged the bug and assured that a fix is currently in progress.

While brands are automatically enrolled in Direct Business Search ads, they have the option to opt out by adjusting the settings for their campaign manually. This bug raises concerns about the impact on businesses’ visibility and user experience on the platform.

For further insights into Google’s Branded Local Service Ads pilot and updates on the bug resolution, readers are encouraged to refer to additional resources on the topic. Google is actively working to resolve this issue and ensure that search results align with user intent and brand visibility.

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