Google today will introduce the next chapter in Google AdWords Advertising, the ability for U.S. and international advertisers to target Web surfers by their city of origin. The addition to Google AdWords, which has been in quasi-testing for a while, is a big step towards local search advertising, which is predicted by the Kelsey Group to reach an estimated $2.5 billion by 2008.
In March Google joined Yahoo and Gigablast as a search engine which returns local results based on zip code and geographic information queries. Google Local, developed and tested in Beta within Google Labs, lets web searchers look locally from different sources including Yellow Pages, local business listings and Google’s normal web page index.
“Google’s goal is to connect searchers with the information they need whether it’s half-way around the world or in their neighborhood,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a statement to the press.
Now, Google is using a mix of local targeting and AdWords to track surfers’ location at the city level. AdWords advertisers in the US can focus their promotional messages to target people in a specific city. For example, a Googler in Baltimore who searches for “beer” may get AdWords paid results from various downtown breweries or bars buying such locally targeted advertising.
Advertisers can use regional and city-level targeting if they know which specific cities and metropolitan areas are appropriate for their markets. Pickey local advertisers can even choose customized targeting to define their own target area. Areas, distance, and borders can be picked by advertisers.
Sukhinder Singh, general manager of Google Local commented “This is a new way for small-business advertisers to step in at a level that’s meaningful to them, which is around their business.”