If you have been following Google Local Services over the last year, then you’re accustomed to a very specific placement for these ads. They show at the top of the page, above all the other search results. For most businesses it would look something like what you see below, where Local Services shows at the top, followed by AdWords Ads, the Local Pack, and then organic results (on desktop).
Google has consistently been giving their Google Guaranteed service providers prime real estate at the top of the SERP across all devices. These providers then pay a flat rate fee for every lead they receive in the form of a phone call. We have seen several cases where this flat rate fee is actually less than the cost of an AdWords click for the same search term.
As of last week, we started to see a shift in placement of Local Services ads. They were seen showing BELOW the Google AdWords ads, and above the Local Pack, when using the the Google AdWords Ad Preview Tool. This morning for the first time we are seeing Local Services showing below the the Google AdWords ads in live results, on desktop.
So far, we are not able to recreate the same result on mobile devices, although that may be coming. So why is Google is testing new placement for these ads? Perhaps revenue from traditional AdWords ads has started to dip for keywords that also show Local Services ads, and Google is trying to rectify that? Or maybe Google is testing this in areas where there aren’t three qualified Google Guaranteed service providers? They may feel more confident in their AdWords results now that the Garage Door industry has undergone Advanced Verification checks. We will see if this result becomes more prevalent across verticals, devices, and keywords in the upcoming weeks.