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Google Ends Test Of Local Listing Ads

Two months after beginning tests of local listing ads aimed at small businesses, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has ended the experiment. The company says that it will no longer accept new sign-ups and that existing ads that are being run will be pulled in mid-December. Google had pitched the service as a way for local businesses to easily promote themselves on its search engine and on Google Maps; businesses could pay a flat monthly fee, instead of having to pay per click and could link the ad to their auto-generated Google listing.

In a statement, Google says that the “limited free trial was one of many beta tests that we develop experimentally as part of our ongoing commitment to help businesses advertise online” and adds that it will use the findings to “make further improvements to our online marketing offerings for small businesses, and plan to release an enhanced version more widely in the near future.” So, it looks like Google will come back with a new product aimed at this market.

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