Google has recently announced the initiation of a pilot program for branded Local Service Ads (LSA) called Direct Business Search. The new ad type allows brands to show up in search results when a user directly searches for a particular brand or business. Businesses are automatically enrolled in this new ad feature by default, but as of February 13, all businesses will have the ability to disable it by manually adjusting their settings.
There are some potential benefits and drawbacks of this new ad type. While it may offer the chance to display an ad when someone is actively searching for a competitor, allowing for access to their customer base, there is also the possibility of paying for conversions that might have been obtained organically. This occurs when users click on the ad, even when the brand’s organic listing is right below it in the search results. However, Google has clarified that when an existing customer clicks on a Direct Business Search ad, the business will not be charged, and they will only be charged for new customer leads.
Some concerns have been expressed by industry experts regarding the inability for brands to opt out of these ads. However, Google has provided assurance that the option to opt-out will be available in the near future. A screenshot shared by Ben Fisher, Co-Founder/Lead Consultant at Diamond Google Product Expert, demonstrates that brands can opt out of these ads by adjusting their settings and turning off the Direct business search toggle.
Google has responded to these concerns by stating that the opt-out option will be available for everyone and that customers will receive more information on this in the coming week. It is important to note that while this option might not currently be available, Direct Business Search ads are still in the early stages, and Google will be making this choice accessible to everyone in the near future.
Overall, Google’s new Direct Business Search ads present an interesting opportunity for brands to leverage their visibility in search results. However, businesses will need to carefully consider the potential costs and benefits of this new ad type. As Google continues to roll out this feature and make it more widely accessible, businesses will need to stay informed about their options and make informed decisions about whether to opt in or out of this new ad type.
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