Google is now testing third-party ads on Google business listings by displaying ads on businesses’ listings.
The test is currently implemented on restaurants and other industry categories.
Google has implemented a similar test back in 2017 as well as last year in 2019.
Owners of the business listings can’t opt-out from this test, according to an industry source.
The third-party ads are all connected to the businesses themselves. For example, the ads for food ordering in the sample ads above are for the restaurants that the ads appear on.
When Search Engine Land asks a Google spokesperson for a comment about the new ad test, the spokesperson says “this is currently a small pilot program. We are always working on new ways to improve the experience both for users and merchants.”
This pilot test only applies to a group of whitelisted advertisers such as Groupon, Seamless, and Caviar.
If this new ad implementation rolls out officially and third-party ads will appear on business listings, it’ll be a double-edged sword for advertisers. From one side, advertisers can serve their third-party ads from incentive-driven advertising channels such as Group which will likely help with their sales. On the other side, these coupon or incentive-driven ads will potentially drive customers who are searching for specific restaurants and willing to pay the full amount for the restaurant’s food and drinks towards Groupon or incentive-based websites. This will erode restaurants’ profit margins.
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