Posted October 26, 2010 6:31 pm by with 4 comments

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Google may be global, but this week, they’re all about the local as they put the finishing touches on Boost for Google Places.

Boost is an easy to produce search ad designed to show up when someone does a related search. Own a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco? Then your ad might show up at the top of the page when someone searches for the best Kung Pao Chicken in the Bay Area. Google develops the pay-per-click ad from a short description supplied by the business owner and all of this is done using the dashboard in their Google Places account.

Says the Google Blog:

“Placement in the “Sponsored Links” section of the page will, as always, depend on factors such as your ad’s relevance and quality. Boost does not affect the ranking of the free, organic business listings in any way.”

Right now, Google is testing the system in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. If you have a business in one of those areas, claim your listing in Google Places and you might be given an invitation to join the program. If Boost isn’t available in your area, you can fill out this form to express your interest.

In addition to Boost, Google also rolled out a second Google Places enhancement this week – high quality photos.

Over the last six months, Google has been sending photographers out to select businesses around the world in order to photograph their establishment for Google Places. This week, those high quality photos will go live.  Google suggests that a high-res photo of a restaurant’s interior could help you make a better impression on the first date and who can argue with that?

If you would like Google to come photograph your business, you can fill out this form, right here.

Do you use Google Places? We’d like to hear about your experience.

  • You can always leave it to Google to come up with the brightest ideas. Google Places seems like another great tool to market your business/company with a localized approach.

  • We’ll see how things shake out with the new local listings. It seems the 7-pack may be a thing of the past.

  • @Drew Barnes, I would love to see the 7-pack be a thing of the past, because dealing with the current account that I have has been nothing but headaches! That being said, I just wrote a blog post on my site you can check out regarding my opinion on Google Boost Ads. I’m not sure they will last…

  • I have noticed this morning that Google Places seems to be of even more importance in the UK and occupy the first 4 or 5 positions on any given search.