Google Boost – Adwords for the average small business

Google has just rolled out a new product called “Boost” for Places pages, not an SEO related change, but still cool. It’s basically a slimmed down, easy to manage version of Adwords that will display advertisements on the sponsored links area of a Google search or on a Google map. This is a pretty smart move by Google as it gives small business access to Adwords without having to understand the complexities of the system. There is no geo-targeting or keyword research and analysis to worry about, no cost for hiring a professional to manage an Adwords account. It’s as simple as deciding on a budget and filling in a few fields on a form.

Setting up a campaign is supposedly about as simple as it can get with Google’s system automatically finding relevant keywords to trigger ad appearance based on whatever short description of a business is provided and how much monthly budget you have to spend. Users will also have to include their website or Google Places page as part of the set up process. Fields on the form may be prepopulated based on categories selected on a user’s Places page, further simplifying the set up process.

So what will advertisements look like?

Pretty much the same as other sponsored links but with a blue map pin as opposed to a red one. Budget and relevance will probably also play a part in determining where and when the advertisement is displayed.

At this point Google Boost is only available to users with Places pages in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. After a period of beta testing in those cities, Google may decide to roll it out worldwide.

It’s probably going to be quite a while before the feature becomes available to small business owners in Australia but it is another reason to make sure you’ve claimed your Google Places page.

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