Google is testing more ad opportunities in knowledge panels. In this case, it’s testing ads on panels for local businesses.
Spotted by Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz, the example below shows an ad from Groupon for the featured club. A call to action to “View Deal” links to the related offer page on Groupon.com.
Looks like Google is testing targeted ads directly in Local Knowledge Panels (can't replicate it live) — pic.twitter.com/AVr0a1TG0r
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) August 28, 2017
“We’re currently experimenting with new ways to surface helpful and relevant local information to users on Google Maps and Search,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land when asked about the ad placement. “Maintaining a good experience for our users is our top priority and based on feedback, we’ll determine whether to roll these changes out permanently and broadly.”
Google has been running various ads in knowledge panels since 2013 — for car dealers, products, movies and TV shows and music — but this is the first time ads for them have appeared in panels for local businesses.
Last year, shortly after removing Maps from the Search Partners network in AdWords, Google introduced plans to expand the presence of ads and experiment with formats in Google Maps. At that time, Google said one-third of mobile searches are local and that local searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile search overall.