Google Places Local Listing Ads on Pause

Today, Google announced that they were suspending their trial of Local Listing Ads. No new signups are being accepted, and the current ads will cease running sometime in mid-December. My understanding is that advertisers are not being charged, even if their campaign ran beyond the thirty-day trial period.

Google plans to use the lessons they learned to:

make further improvements to our online marketing offerings for small businesses, and plan to release an enhanced version more widely in the near future.

Mike Blumenthal reports hearing that click-through rates were low, but can’t imagine that Google wouldn’t have a paid offering in this area.

I can’t help but think back to Google’s ill-fated Click To Call offering.

I also suspect Google underestimated the amount of help local business owners would need, both pre-sale and post. Google simply isn’t configured to provide such customer service.

Without question, Google will return to local paid listing, but I expect it to look very different than Google Local Listing Ads.