Google is reshuffling ad tools for small and medium sized businesses, with an eye, it seems to, more streamlined offerings and greater consolidation. It is sunsetting Tags, an pilot feature it introduced last year, which allowed SMBs to pay a flat monthly fee to promote themselves via bright yellow markers - the Tags - on Google.
It is also moving Hotpot, a recommendation engine for search, under its Places umbrella. Since its experimental roll out last November, Google has introduced iPhone and Android apps of the feature, integrated its recommendations into Google.com and Google Maps, expanded to more than 47 languages and allowed people to share their ratings and reviews to Twitter.
The Rise of Boost
Google appears to be placing its focus on Boost, an ad product it introduced last year, for small businesses, Tech Crunch says, largely because the product works better and delivers better results than its SMB predecessors.
Boost enables business owners to create online search ads from directly within their Google Places account. Boost ads can appear in the "Sponsored Links" section of Google.com and Google Maps search result pages. So, Google explains, if you’re a restaurant owner in San Francisco who has signed up for Boost, your ad may show up when someone does a related search for your particular cuisine and location. Beyond the basics like company name, address, phone number and website, the ad may also include the number of reviews received, an average star rating and a link to the business' Place page to help potential customers find additional useful information about your business. When a map appears alongside the results, a blue pin will help customers find the location on the map.”