What is a Favorite Place?
Google is turning its sights squarely on the local ad market, with plans to promote its local business listings in storefronts around the U.S.
Stickers bearing Google’s logo and a QR code have been distributed to 100,000 of the most popular businesses in Google’s Local Business Center database, and starting this week consumers will be able to use code-scanning applications on modern phones to look up the Google listing for that particular restaurant, store, or dry cleaner. The stickers will be prominently displayed in store windows of participating businesses, and represent a shot across the bow of companies like Yelp which offer similar branded services.
Google’s Local Business Center allows pizza joints and dress boutiques to place listings on Google Maps with basic information such as hours and location and also get access to data about how Web searchers are hitting their profile, such as the ZIP code from which searches originate, said Michaela Prescott, head of geomarketing at Google. Over 1 million businesses in the U.S. have listed themselves with Google, she said.
Much has been made of Google’s interest in courting the big-name advertisers of the corporate world, but the company is also very interested in the mom-and-pop stores of the world, which fit nicely into its strategy of delivering targeted advertising to specific niches. Later this week, Google plans to hold an event in San Francisco for small business owners in hopes of educating them about the services that are available on Google.
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