Why Are Other People's Ads Appearing On My Google Places Map Listing?
by Jo Shaer, on May 27, 2014
I had a call from a taxi driver recently. He said he wanted my help with Google Places.
His question? Why are other people's ads appearing on my Google Places map listing?
And, more importantly, how can I get rid of them?
This was a feature that Google introduced over a year ago. If someone searched for your business or a keyword relating to your business and location using the old Classic Maps, then every listing would show the business information PLUS an advert. Unfortunately, the advert was most likely to be for a competitor.
There were some very angry business owners.
But there was nothing that could be done about it.
Ads on Places Listings in Classic Google Maps
In 2014, we have two versions of Google Maps - the new and the old Classic version. Yes, you can still make your browser switch back to the old version for now.
Using the Classic version, make a Google search for a *keyword in town*. You should see a seven pack of results marked A - G.
Click on the letter in the grey pin next to one of the businesses. This will take you through to Classic maps.
Look at the business listing.
At the bottom you will see advertisements for competitors who are bidding in Adwords on the keywords that were used for that search. Yes, you read that right, adverts for your competitors on your own actual listing.
In my listing, you can see it is for a holiday company with a similar name. This is the closest ad that Google has to my name.
And there is nothing that I as a business owner can do about it! Even if I purchase my own Ads, I cannot guarantee that they will end up on my listing. So there is no way that I can control who appears on my listing as an ad.
Ads on Places listings in New Google Maps
If your potential customer is searching in the new version of Google maps, sometimes those ads appear, sometimes your competitor listings appear and sometimes neither appear. Welcome to Google! However, I cannot see Google missing that trick for long.
Indeed, the most recent post from Mike Blumenthal explains how competitor ads are actually appearing in the Knowledge Graph for brands of car dealer. On both PC and mobile.
The knowledge graph is the information that appears to the right hand side of the page when someone searches for the name of your business as a brand. See the attached image. Just imagine if that contained adverts for your competitors!
It's bad enough that they show the section at the bottom for People also searched for.
This is supposed to show off your brand not give a platform to the opposition.