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Marketing Insight: Google Introduces Exclusive Local Service Ads Feature


Google is revolutionizing local advertising with the trial of a new Local Service Ad feature dubbed “Direct Business Search.” By default, brands are auto-enrolled in this innovative advertising avenue. Starting February 13, businesses seeking more control can opt-out by tweaking their ad settings manually.

Unpacking Direct Business Search

Direct Business Search is designed to elevate brands to the forefront when potential customers search specifically for them. When enabled, your Local Service Ad becomes the solo star of the search results, enhancing visibility. You’re only charged for leads from new customers, making this a valuable asset in your marketing toolkit.


Why It Matters to Your Business

This development is a double-edged sword. While it increases your chances of capturing leads, there’s a risk of paying for conversions that may have come your way organically, since customers were already on the hunt for your brand.

Initial Observations

The Direct Business Search ads caught the attention of Anthony Higman, CEO of Adsquire, who brought it to the limelight with a tweet. The screenshot sparked a discussion about the lack of an opt-out feature, a concern echoed by notable local SEO experts like Joy Hawkins.

Google's Response and Advertiser Reassurance

Google has stepped in to reassure worried advertisers. They’ve confirmed that charges apply solely to new customer leads. Plus, an opt-out feature is on the horizon for those wishing to exercise more discretion over their ad choices.

How to Opt-Out

Ben Fisher, a seasoned Google Product Expert, outlines the opt-out process: head to settings and disable the Direct Business Search function. If this toggle isn’t visible yet, patience is key. Google is still fine-tuning the feature to ensure broad accessibility soon.

Final Word from Google

Ginny Marvin, Google Ads Liaison, emphasizes that this is still in the experimental phase, with a broader rollout and more detailed information slated for release in the coming week.


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