The beta test of placing CPC ads on Google Local maps based on a business search has started showing up online for some users.
Google isn’t inviting you out for a cup of coffee when you see the little coffee-cup icon show up on a map in Google Local. SEO blogger Shimon Sandler posted his observation of the new ads showing up as a result of a search for “booksellers nyc”:
It also has a management interface like adwords. Just get a link/client added to your My Client Center (MCC).
Not everyone can see these ads yet. A couple of commenters on Sandler’s blog said they were not showing in IE or Firefox for them. I’m having the same issue; perhaps Google has limited this test to viewers from specific geographic regions, or the advertisers have limited exposure to visitors from particular areas to limit costs.
Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Watch was able to observe the ads and capture screenshots of them as Sandler did. Schwartz observed that Google’s first test of ads on the maps used blue pushpins instead of the common red ones that note a location.