Google is currently testing more ad opportunities in knowledge panels In this particular case, the company is testing ads on panels for local businesses.
The test was spotted by Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz. Below, you’ll see an example of how an ad from Groupon for the featured club. A call to action to “View Deal” links to the related offer page on Groupon.com.
Looks like Google is testing targeted ads directly in Local Knowledge Panels (can’t replicate it live) — pic.twitter.com/AVr0a1TG0r
— Dr. Pete Meyers (@dr_pete) August 28, 2017
“We’re currently experimenting with new ways to surface helpful and relevant local information to users on Google Maps and Search,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land when asked about the ad placement. “Maintaining a good experience for our users is our top priority and based on feedback, we’ll determine whether to roll these changes out permanently and broadly.”
There have been a number of ads in knowledge panels being run since 2013, such as for car dealers, products, movies and TV shows and music. This is the first time that ads for them will appear in panels for local businesses.
After removing Maps from the Search Partners network in AdWords last year, Plans were introduced by Google to expand the presence of ads and experiment with formats in Google Maps. It was at this time that Google said that a third of searches are local ad that local searches are growing 50 percent faster than mobile search overall.