Has Google finally found an effective way to sell paid search to the highly-coveted SMB market with Google Boost? As discussed in his latest article for ClickZ, “Google Boost: Paid Search for the Masses?”, Gregg Stewart weighs in on how one of Google’s newest product offerings may – or may not – be able to do just that.
After rolling out a test of Google Boost in select markets in November, Boost is now available in select categories nationwide. The “set it, and forget it” style ad product is aimed at selling subscription-based paid search to SMBs who may not have the time or resources to manage a relatively complex AdWords account. Here’s how Boost works: a business simply opts to add Boost to its verified listing(s) on its Google Places page, which will generate ads on Google and Google Maps (including mobile devices) – the ads are identified with blue pins (as opposed to the traditional red pins). The business then just needs to decide on which of the preselected monthly budget levels its willing to spend, select relevant categories, and then Google will determine the search keywords that trigger the ads based on the selected categories.
As with any new product launch, there appears to be a few glitches with the roll-out of Boost ads, one of which is inconsistencies in where and how Boost ads are positioned. Glitches aside, the one obvious advantage to Boost is that it encourages SMBs to claim and verify their Places page listings. But you can read more about the preliminary pros and cons of Boost here.
Compared to past attempts by Google to woo SMBs to purchase paid search, Boost initially appears to stand the best chance at succeeding. The level of success Boost achieves is what remains to be seen.