Google's recently released local advertisement tool, AdWords Express, has revealed what may be a deadly flaw: Users who advertise via Express will have their ad displayed instead of their organic listing on blended search results.
Last week Local SEO David Mihm sent this note:
“I had an interesting prospective client email. His Place Page was not showing ANYWHERE when I first looked at some prominent keywords for his business. The client swore he was ranking #1 for a couple of key phrases prior to emailing me. He had been advertising on Adwords Express. He shut it off and IMMEDIATELY it went back to letter A for a generic phrase when I checked again.”
My Google local adwords rep called me later in the week and, in a totally unrelated context, said:
“If they are in the top position of Places – an Adwords Express Ad will cause the Places listing to not show”
He went on to sensibly recommend that a business NOT use a category from their Places page for which they were doing well and to use one of the other categories. Makes sense.
It has long been thought that taking out an Adwords campaign would not affect your ranking on Google search. In fact we have long been under the impression that there was a firewall of sort between the two results. This clearly calls that long held belief into question, at least in the Local space.