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Neil Astin, Head of SEM

The author

Neil Astin

Head of SEM

Google has announced a change to the way adverts are delivered on Google Maps. In the vast majority of cases, we wouldn’t expect these changes to have a major impact but the main points to be aware of are summarised below.

Google Maps was previously considered a ‘Search Partner’ and campaigns opted out of Search Partners would not be eligible to show ads there. This is now set to change, Google Maps will be classed as a core Google Search site.

In addition to this, ads will now need an active location extension in order to be eligible to show on Google Maps.

Previously, adverts could show on maps where a Google My Business listing existed, regardless of whether this listing fed into an active Location Extension or not. 

As part of this change, ads will only be eligible to show on Google Maps where there is an active Location Extension on the AdWords campaign.

As mentioned, we wouldn’t expect these changes to have a major impact but they could have some effect in the following cases:

1)      You have campaigns with active Location Extensions and opted out of Search Partners

With this setup, you will previously not have been eligible to show ads on Google Maps, this will now change and you may see an increase in impressions and spend.

We wouldn’t recommend any action is necessary here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if your locations are important to you, which is why you have active location extensions, you will simply benefit from having these show on Google Maps.

Secondly, advert real estate on Google Maps is currently very low, as such, few adverts show and so impression increases will be small.

2)      You have campaigns without active Location Extensions, with Search Partners on and you currently do get Google Maps impressions

With this setup you may have been getting Google Maps impressions, however, with no active Location Extensions these will now stop.

In this instance, if your location adverts are important to you and you are worried about losing impressions on Google Maps, we would strongly advise linking your Google My Business account with your AdWords account and setting up Location Extensions on your campaigns.

This will mean you continue to gain ad impressions on Google Maps and also benefit from the Location Extension on Google Search.

If you’re unsure what the Google Maps search ad changes mean for you, please get in touch for further advice.