Google today announced it’s rolling out its experimental “tags” feature nationwide, with plans to take it mobile in the near future.
Google tags, which was previously known as “enhanced listings,” allows businesses to “tag” their local map-related search listing with things like coupons, videos, websites, menus, reservations, photos, or a custom message. When users click the tag, they’re taken to a special landing page that features the additional content, such as coupon. The service runs $25 per month.
The idea to allow local businesses a way to stand out in local search results, by displaying a special tag icon that alerts visitors of enhanced engagement through a variety of media. Though a business can include whatever they want through their tag, it obviously makes the most sense to offer coupons or other money-saving benefits to users.
The true benefit, however, will be when the new tag feature rolls out to mobile search results. Taking into account location and physical relevance to local results will make the solution truly beneficial for local businesses wanting to stand out from the crowd.
Through tags, Google is trying to create a dead simple way for local businesses that have claimed listings in Google Places to further stand out, and for Google to get incremental revenue from these businesses. Local listing ads, a more complicated, but higher profile local ad category, has subsequently been retired as a result.
Google also announced “Posts,” which is another type of Tag that allows business owners to present a custom message that can be changed as often as the business owner would like. The idea is Twitter-like functionality that seeks to make Places a more useful and potentially regular “platform” for local businesses.