At this time, Google is beta testing a new feature called Google Boost. Google Boost is a disruptor for those bidding on PPC ads as it takes away one of the coveted ad positions and replaces it with a Local Ad. This feature is currently only being tested in three areas: San Francisco, Houston, and Chicago. Essentially, Boost Ad’s are designed to list a sponsored “Place” Ad when a user searches for something related to them. This change is good for Google as it allows them to accept local ads from locations all around the world, in additional to the national marketers that are always bidding on these ads.
As Josh wrote about regarding Google's change to local results, it certainly seems like “Places” are becoming of great interest to Google. Boost’s Ads may not necessarily be an appreciated addition to some search marketers, especially if their strategy is to take over a certain Ad position, like 2 or 3, in a search result. However, for local businesses, this seems like a real plus in which they could ultimately gain great exposure for their business. If you are interested in Google Boost, you can fill out this form here to express your interest in the feature.
What do you think? Is this a good or bad addition?