Google Maps engineers in Australia and New Zealand are finally unearthing the potential PPC business model for Google Maps. Australia has been declared as the online guinea pig, with tests already in place to test and measure the success of this new revenue stream. The clients that got in early to test this new advsertising channel include high-profile retail chains and banks, including: NAB, BankWest, JB Hi-Fi, Chemist Warehouse and LJ Hooker. The Australian reports that Fitness First and BP are also planning to sign on to test the waters of Google Maps PPC.
The notion is pretty simple to understand, we see it as a hybrid of the classic Street Directory advertisements with conventional PPC cost schemes where the company will be charged based on an agreed number of impressions. Check out this example that we managed to snap of the National Australia Bank in Sydney:
The branded logos pinpoint the location of the advertisers’ store locations, sort of like the McDonalds logos in the old UBD street directories… Anybody remember these?
The Google product manager mentioned that the idea has been conceived to make map references more useful to users by using the logos that they would see on the street. The intention of this is questionable, seeing as Google already have Maps street view to help users identify their destination before they get there. It could be a way of making the satellite view user friendly, but the agenda seems to be for pure profit in our opinion. The new scheme has been expressed as non-relative to the existing local search listings, rather it will work alongside them. Removal of local search listings would have a devastating impact for SMEs, and although Google don’t plan on neglecting local search, does this new development indicate that they may be planning to cash in on basic business directory listings?
Either way, keep an eye on this development because if successful, it could be redefining Google Maps for local businesses.