Google is testing more local serving ads for each set of search results, three ads on a page instead of two.
Google’s advertising liaison, Ginny Marvin, confirmed the test, saying it was designed to increase consumer confidence in LSA:
To confirm, this is an experiment. We are conducting a small test to understand the value to consumers and providers of having an 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 went against expectations, as it drew more attention to the ongoing LSA spam problem.
Google increases LSAs to three per page
Adding another ad unit may have a positive impact on businesses advertising their services on Google.
However, it makes Google’s LSA spam more common.
As noted in a reply to Marvin’s tweet, there are several issues plaguing local service ads right now. like:
- fake business ads
- Commercial profile ads with fake reviews
- Disabled Business Profile Ads
Considering that each of these ad packages has the promise of being “screened by Google”, there must be a quality assurance gap somewhere.
The spam problem is serious, and I’ll go into more detail about it in the near future. I 🤯 LSA ad showing to advertisers even after the relevant/desired GBP page was suspended for spam.
1- Pause Ads when Sterling Pauses
2- Accept (and act on) spam reports
— Len 🌴 (@lenraleigh) July 26, 2022
Marvin assured advertisers that Google takes these reports seriously:
“We are committed to ensuring that the LSA Division provides users and service providers with a trusted experience. We have taken your report seriously and will continue to do so.”
Hopefully, Google can control the volume of spam LSAs before they erode consumer confidence in ad units.
For legitimate businesses using LSA to promote their services, this test means your ad is more likely to appear on Google’s homepage.
If you notice a fraudulent ad next to you, please use the reporting option to make Google aware of this.
Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock