Shimon Sandler found that Google Local is testing another form of PPC ads in Google Local. If you search on booksellers nyc at Google Local, and if you look at the map you will notice some results have little coffee icons. If you click on the coffee icon within the map, more info pops up. This pop up contains a header named "Sponsored Link" and with local information and a large Barnes and Noble logo.
PostScript: Shimon also says that this is named "GeoAds." Reportedly, it is available to all, if not most business segments. How do you sign up for your business? Well, I am not 100% sure. You can go to Google Base and do a bulk upload of your multiple business listings or add/edit your local business listing. I tried the local business listing, but was unsuccessful in adding a sponsored listing or logo to my result.
If you are a Mac user, like myself, you most likely won't see the coffee icon, in either Safari or even Firefox. But if you are a PC user, you should see the result on both IE and FireFox. Here are screen captures if you are like me.
Perspective Screen Capture:
Zoom In Screen Capture:
This is an alternative form of ads in Google Local. First time we noticed sponsored ads was when Google placed blue pins in the results.
Want to discuss? Join our forum thread named Google Tries Alternative to Blue Pins in Google Local Maps.