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Paid Google My Business Listings?

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
First Name
...and one more for good measure, from someone we know.

Local SEOs mixed, some peeved at idea of paying for Google My Business services
They recognized the logic – but many had strong criticisms.

Greg Gifford, DealerOn
“We all knew that Google was going to try to monetize local at some point. I think this is their initial “toe dip” into gauging customer reaction. Obviously, most actual customers probably don’t have any idea what this is about, but marketers will be up in arms.”

“The most striking feature was paid placement in search results and paid map pin promotion. There’s a huge difference between running an ad on the Local Finder page or in the map pack and paying for promotion. (Will it even display that you’re there because you paid?)”

“Our clients will literally lose their shit if they have to start paying for GMB features. The vast majority of what they had in the survey was crap that no one would care about. But if paid placement is going to become a part of the ecosystem, everyone’s going to have to pay to stay competitive. They’re definitely going to reject this initially, but might be forced into it if enough competitors do it.”

“I think people who buy ads are more likely to pay for features just as, inversely, people who pay for features are more likely to buy ads.”

“This is scary as hell. I wouldn’t mind so much if they were just talking about verified reviewers, or a trusted business emblem, or background checks. But promoted pin placement and search results placement is very scary, especially if Google isn’t going to label these paid placements (they’re not really ads, so an ad label wouldn’t apply). Will they act like other third-party sites and list them as “promoted” or will they simply show at the top and look like a regular listing? It’s a huge grey area.”