The AP gives no time frame on the addition of ads but explains that ads will only appear if a particular product or service is searched. There will be no ads if one simply looks up an address.
The new ads will show up as part of balloons that float over the map itself and will also carry a small image.
The LA Times says the ads began to appear on Thursday. It also attributes the statements noted above to Dominic Preuss, a Google product manager for local advertising.
Advertisers can purchase the space through Google’s AdWords program, where marketers bid via an auction-style system for popular search terms related to their business. Preuss said Google will not charge an additional fee for the map icons, but the price will be determined by the auction system.
Earlier this week, Google said it reached an agreement to allow Verizon Communications Corp.‘s (Research) online directory SuperPages.com to sell Google search terms to its millions of listed businesses, aiming to boost for its local advertising base.
Search Engine Watch has the step by step procedure to create such an ad, along with other links on the topic.
ZDnet has the take on the future:
But Dominic Preuss, product manager for Google, in Mountain View, Calif., signaled that it’s likely that the Google Local ads are just the beginning, and the practice could spread to other Google features using maps.
Also noteworthy from the article: confidence from an inside source that Yahoo!, Microsoft will offer similar ads.
And a note from Google’s help page for Local Business Ads: “(note: this service is available for business locations in the U.S, Canada and the U.K.).”