Google has updated Maps to now include paid ads in the list view of both desktop and mobile search results. Paid ad results now appear above organic results in the list view, as they do in a normal Google Web search.
For example, when a user searches for “gym sf” in Maps, the highest-bidding San Francisco gym will appear at the top of the list. When a user hovers over the paid ad, the business’s red location marker appears on the map side (right side of the page).
Both paid and organic results include a business’s address, other contact information, Google business rating (stars), and street view thumbnail.
When a user scrolls through the listings, each result is highlighted on the list side, and its corresponding red location marker is shown on the map.
Overall, the scrolling/list view is fairly new to Google Maps, but is particularly useful for browsing local businesses, and adds to the usability of Google Maps.
As Google Maps continues to be the map provider of choice for many, especially on mobile devices, it becomes increasingly important to have a well-optimized and complete local listing or paid ad. Having a detailed and updated business listing on Google increases the chance that a customer will contact you for business.
For more information on Google for local businesses, visit www.google.com/business.