Hot on the heals of my last post using the example of a Google search for "Dentist Nerang", I came across some important information. Google is looking to take away one of the 3 pack search results spots and replace it with a paid advertising spot.
If they do progress with this then it would mean that in the example of Dentist Nerang below one of these three dental practices would be pushed off the search results.
There is no doubt that appearing under that map in the search results when combined with a good customer rating (4 or 5 stars) is the most valuable piece of advertising a dental practice can acquire. Google is looking at the click through rates and they see this area is highly effective at attracting new patients. This is an area that they are currently giving away for free, so you would have to wonder how long that can last for.
Now google hasn't released an official statement on this as yet, however
the SMX Advanced Local Workshop, Google confirmed that ads are coming to the Local Pack. The timing and precise appearance/placement are to be determined.
During the pre-conference Workshop, Google’s Global Product Lead for Local Ads, Ali Turhan, discussed some of the new AdWords features as they pertain to local. Among them, he showed a screen shot (above), which Joy Hawkins tweeted, but which is not officially authorised for distribution at this point.
So back to our Nerang example, in this case Amazing Smiles is likely to be safe. They have a strategy in place and are likely to stay there. It's now up to Riverside Dental Practice and Gold Coast Dental Studio to put a Reputation Management Program in Place to secure their position, and all the new patient enquiries that go along with it.