Yesterday I learned that if you want your ads to appear in Google Maps, then you have to choose to advertise in the Google Search Partners network. Did you know that?  I didn’t.

When advertising in a Google Adwords search campaign, you’re given a choice for the Google Search Network, to advertise with or without Google Search Partners.

google-ad-network-choices

Up until now, I always thought Google Maps was part of their regular search network, and *not* Google search partners, but it turns out that’s not true.

It’s not hard to find conflicting information on the Internet, and in fact this post at SEO Roundtable by Barry Schwartz and this one at Search Engine Land by Ginny Marvin, and even this page updated just last month at Wordstream all state that Google maps is no longer a part of the search partners network but apparently, that’s not the case.

Even Google Has it Wrong

Google help incorrect

Even from the help file inside of the new Google Adwords interface has it listed incorrectly, reading “They can appear beside, above, or below search results on Google Play, Google Shopping, and Google Maps, including the Maps app.

I looked a lttle further, and found this Google partner support page at Google says that Maps is a part of the Google Search sites group –

google-maps-help-page

Even the consumer video here at YouTube has it wrong too, saying “The search network has those familiar text ads that appear above and besides Google search results on other sites like Maps and shopping”. and it’s even captioned that way –

maps-network-video

 

But Apparently That’s all wrong!

This all came about because a client of mine noticed that his ads were not appearing in Google Maps, despite having his location extension in use. He phoned Google Adwords himself, and was told that it was because he wasn’t using the Google Search Partner network.  He said that he checked the box to include the Search Partner Network, and a few minutes later, he was back in Google Maps.

When he told me that, I was completely surprised, and in fact even skeptical, so I phoned Google myself to verify. Although the rep wasn’t 100% sure, and had to verify with others, he did phone me back to confirm, that yes Google Maps IS a part of the Google Search Partner network.

I explained to the Google rep that their documentation all states otherwise, so asked if he could confirm by e-mail and this is what he sent me:

Email from Google stating that Maps is a part of Google Search Partners

I should note that while I was waiting for the call back, I did find a couple of sites that have it correct, stating that Google Maps is a part of the Google Search Partners network, and those are posts by Reach Local  and Spinutech but those were the only two I could find.

So – If you want to advertise on Google Maps, you have to do two things…

  1. Use your Google My Business Location extension for the campaign.
  2. Use the Google Search Partner Network

So… did you already know this, or were you just as surprised as I was?

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