Over the past few days Tim Capper has been noticing ads back in the local knowledge panels again. I personally was unable to replicate, but now I can here and there. Greg Sterling confirmed with Google that this is a new “pilot program” they are running again.
Yes, again, they did this in 2017 and since then, has run it on and off. And now it is back.
Tim posted some examples of these on Twitter:
Here are more examples:
No and its rolling out all over pic.twitter.com/MnHZrJIDfK
— Tim Capper (@GuideTwit) July 1, 2020
The crazy thing is that a competitor can run ads on your knowledge panel. So if someone specifically searches for your brand name, a competitors ad can show right above your business address, hours of operation and phone number.
Tim said “the business has NO knowledge that these are running!” He said with some of these ads, it can end up costing the business dearly. He said “the business has to pay 15% commission on the order total to the 3rd party. Typical markup for food is 35%. After paying the 15%, the business typically keeps the lights on, without covering any other costs.”
He goes on:
The restaurant will loose even more money when orders are placed for old menu prices that they honour, not to upset customers.
Why dont they update the menu – why old prices and menu ??
— Tim Capper (@GuideTwit) June 30, 2020
The business, who has no knowledge of this, and then finds out, can go to the ad provider or platform and ask for removal. We’ve talked about that over here.
So you cannot tell Google you do not want these to show on your Google My Business profile. You must go to all the third-party vendors and ask them to remove it, only if you see it showing up. Will you see it show up? Probably not, since it is a pilot program now. But some of your customers may see it.
Forum discussion at Twitter.