Google announced today a new feature in its AdWords search marketing product that will let advertisers automatically list their address as part of their text ad. Known as “local extensions,” it allows businesses to link their AdWords account to their Google Local Business Center (LBC) listing.
The result is that AdWords will automatically serve ads to users who are searching in proximity to a given business’ listed address, and that address is shown. Google already does geotargeting in AdWords, but this essentially makes it more automatic.
It also makes the business address more transparent to the user. The move is another sign of what we already know and what Google is acknowledging: A great deal of commercial search intent is to find things locally in the offline physical world (as opposed to e-commerce).
This could be a good tool for national advertisers that have many store locations — especially those for which conversions primarily happen offline (home appliances, consumer electronics, etc.). They can link their AdWords account to the LBC, which ideally has many of those store locations listed. This isn’t always the case, so addresses can also be entered manually.
From the Google AdWords blog:
A clothing brand that distributes to a number of different stores might want to associate their ads with various store locations through extensions, even though their official business address doesn’t correspond to those addresses. Once extensions are set up, we’ll dynamically match your business locations to a user’s location or search terms and show the address with your text ads.
Google’s ability to do this has been heightened by HTML 5, which enables browsers to pick up on users’ locations when they opt in. Google will run with this in a big way. It’s already set up location detection in Google Maps when users opt in to share their location. Now it’s working the other end of the equation — having advertisers’ locations more accurately indexed and identified.
Bring the two together and you have a better ability to link searchers with relevant paid search results. This happens through better location relevance and better serving user intent — again, having tendency toward local offline conversions in many categories, as opposed to ordering things online.
This simply falls in line with most of the evolutionary moves that Google makes to organic and paid search, its core revenue stream. Better relevance (geo, contextual, behavioral etc.) —> higher clickthroughs —> better ad performance —> more revenues.