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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Google Tests More Local Service Ads In SERPs Via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern



Google is testing an increase in the number of local service ads in search results pages.

Google Tests More Local Service Ads In SERPs

Google is testing more local service ads per set of search results, with three ads on a page instead of two.

Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison, confirms the test saying the aim is to increase consumer confidence in LSAs:

To confirm, this is an experiment. We’re running a small test to see the value to consumers and providers of providing one additional service provider in the Local Services Ad unit. The aim is to help consumers discover and book services from trusted providers with confidence.

— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) July 26, 2022

Google’s experiment is opposite to what’s intended, as it draws more attention to the ongoing problem of LSA spam.

Google Increases LSAs To Three Per Page

The addition of another ad unit has the potential to be a positive change for businesses advertising their services on Google.

However, it’s making Google’s LSA spam more prevalent.

As noted in replies to Marvin’s tweet, several issues plague local service ads right now. Such as:

  • Ads for fake businesses
  • Ads for business profiles with fake reviews
  • Ads for business profiles that are deactivated

Considering every one of these ad packs has the promise of being “Google screened,” there must be a quality assurance gap somewhere.

The spam problem is tremendous & I’ll cover that in great detail in the near future. I am 🤯 LSA ads display for advertisers even AFTER the associated / required GBP page is suspended for spam.

LSA should:

1- Suspend ads when GBP suspended

2- Acceptn (& act) on spam reports

— Len 🌴 (@lenraleigh) July 26, 2022

Marvin assures advertisers Google takes these reports seriously:

“We are committed to ensuring the LSA unit provides a trusted experience for users & service providers. We have taken your reports seriously and are continuing to work on this.”

Hopefully, Google can reel in the number of spammy LSAs before they erode consumer confidence in the ad unit.

For legitimate businesses using LSAs to promote their services, this test means a greater chance of your ad appearing on the front page of Google.

Should you notice fraudulent ads appearing next to yours, use the report option to make Google aware of it.

Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock


Matt G. Southern

Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, …

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