Google finally admitted that the Google Places “Tags” program was not a viable marketing solution. It will cease on April 29th (New signups have been stopped) 2011; after being introduced in 2010. Tags was a $25/month yellow highlight which could be attached to a business Places listing. It will be replaced by other product offerings for local business by Google. A couple of options are:
The Google Places boost ad is currently available to all businesses that have verified their Business Places listing. It is a simplified form of paid search operating in the local search environment dominated by Google Places. It very simple to get started and is managed automatically. Prices vary based on business type and you can select a monthly budget which suits you. You pay only when you get a click on your ad and you can monitor your results through the Google Places Dashboard. The pin for your listing is turned blue (as opposed to red) and your listing position is promoted in the rankings for selected search results.
Local Product Availability on Google Places
Google continues to develop Places as a tool for local shoppers. Their goal is to make it easier for a purchaser to find what they are looking for in an area close by from a reputable location. Local business owners can now provide product information via Google Places you can feature up to five popular products along with the price and local store availability. This allows the shopper to get a feel for the store and its prices before visiting.
Google Places for Local Business
The departure of “Tags” is not a negative for Places and local business owners can rely on Google continuing to improve this solution. It is a wonderful marketing tool for local business as witnessed by it’s use by Walmart and the like for its stores. If you are a business owner and haven’t claimed your listing you are losing business.