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Google Map Ads Serve Small Business

060331 For small businesses who don't sell online, being found offline is crucial. Now Google is offering a new type of advertising. People searching for say, shoe repair, by neighborhood can now see business ads as little logos on the maps. Does this spell doom for Yellow Page advertising?

CNet Google experiments with map ads, March 28, 2006, by Elinor Mills

Google is adding graphical advertisements to maps on its local search site, foreshadowing the use of its pop-up balloons for various types of information and activities, an analyst said Monday. Greg Sterling, managing editor at The Kelsey Group, said Google representatives told him several weeks ago that the company plans to let businesses add advertisements and logos to the mapping balloons that appear on Google Local. "It's a harbinger of more things on maps," such as video, embedded chat and pay-per-call or click-to-call, he told CNET at Kelsey's Drilling Down on Local conference here Monday. "Putting technology in the balloons can enable all kinds of interesting exchanges with merchants."...

On Yahoo Local, ads are displayed below the map; clicking in a box next to one of them adds the retailer's locations to the map.