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for a flat fee of $25 a month, he is making his listings on Google stand out. Whenever his shop comes up in a search page or on a Google map, it is adorned with a bright yellow tag. The tag links to the Kingpinz Web site, but these enhanced listings, as the ads are called, can also link to a coupon, store directions, a photograph or a video of a business, or, in the case of a restaurant, a menu or reservations page.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 2:13 am (utc) on Feb 16, 2010]
[edit reason] added ny times link [/edit]
I don't think this $25 monthly fee thing will have anything to do w/ ranking in G Maps.Probably not directly, and not initially. But here's my prediction... As it grows, the pricing will become competitive and dynamic, and position will be determined by bids and a mysterious "quality" factor which coincidentally(?) optimizes revenue. Sound familiar?
We have launched a limited beta of a new feature in the Local Business Center called enhanced listings. Enhanced listings enable business owners to let potential customers know what they think is most important or unique about their business. The feature enables LBC users to enhance their LBC listing by choosing one of the following enhancements: photos, videos, website, coupons, directions, menu or reservations. Enhancements will appear as part of the listing every time the organic listing appears in search results on Google and Google Maps.
We’re testing this new feature starting with a limited trial in San Jose and Houston. Users in these two cities can go to the Local Business Center dashboard for their business where they’ll see a highlighted box inviting them to enhance their listing. By clicking on it, they will begin the process of selecting an enhancement. The trial will be free through February 28th and starting March 1st, we will be charging a flat monthly fee.
They became a behemoth in just a few years because search engines have such weak user lock-in, but if they continue screwing up their core business (SERPs) that fact may come back to bite them in the butt.
yaix2: To sum up, last week G forgot about privacy by making private user contacts public via Buzz, and this week forgot about the separation of organic and paid listings by accepting money for search result listings.
Looking forward to next week's "innovation".