In April of 2010, Google introduced a revolutionary concept that changed the way businesses conduct Internet marketing campaigns. Google created a unique database that collects detailed information about a business, such as name, phone number, mailing address, email address, and website URL.
Google uploads all of the information about a specific business and establishes a “Places” page for that business. Google has developed a platform that allows businesses to tailor their information for potential customers who visit the Google Places business community.
In less than two years, Google Places has moved from Google Tags to Google Boost to Google AdWords Express.
Google Places tags were little yellow icons that appeared whenever a business’s website popped up in a local search result. The yellow tags allowed businesses to promote discounted offers, photographs, and videos, and thus the yellow tags gave business listings more prominence over competitors that did not sign up for Google tags.
Businesses paid a flat fee of $25 per month for the service. Google went into a few markets, such as Seattle, Chicago, and Atlanta with the Tags service, but the search engine giant abruptly pulled the plug on Google Tags in April of 2011.
Google Tags evolved into Google Boost, a marketing service that businesses paid for every time a visitor clicked on an ad. The pay per click cost model differed significantly from the flat $25 fee per month that businesses paid for Google Tags.
Pay per click is a difficult advertising cost to forecast, since businesses do not know how many clicks an ad will get over the course of the month.
Google Boost took the uncertainty out of PPC cost projections. Businesses presented Google with a monthly budget and then they created copy for their ads. Google assigned a cost per click for each search term.
Instead of ads appearing within a business listing, Google Boost ads appeared above or to the right of search results. A red marker indicated on a Google Map the location of the business. Google Boost lasted a few months, when in July 2011, Google’s advertising service evolved into AdWords Express.
After the launch, Google described AdWords Express as “the easiest way to advertise on Google. Google sells AdWords Express for its convenience, since Google manages everything through automation. This means business ads appear for people who want information on a product or service that a business offers.
If someone searches for “Thai Restaurants in Denver” or just “Thai Restaurant” and that person lives in Denver, your Thai restaurant business ad would appear on the search result page.
The creation of an AdWords Express account takes five to ten minutes to complete. Business owners do not have to consider keywords or starting bid prices.
Business interest has steadily increased since the launch of Google AdWords, because Google does most of the work. The automated service allows business owners to focus on other operational issues.
It has been nearly eight months since Google introduced AdWords Express. Google has not indicated that it has plans to tinker with Google AdWords Express or introduce a different advertising service.
However, as a business owner, you can be sure Google’s marketing services will continue to evolve.