Google Local Service Ads

Google is experimenting with showing more local service ads on search result pages. This experiment aims to increase consumer confidence in LSAs by displaying three ads per set rather than two. Ginny Marvin, Ads Liaison at Google, confirms the test:

“To clarify, this is an experiment. We are testing the value to consumers and providers of providing one additional Local Services ad provider. The goal is to help consumers find and book services from reputable providers in confident.”

The opposite of what was intended, Google’s experiment drew more attention to the ongoing problem of LSA spam.

Google Now Allows Up To Three LSAs per Page


Businesses advertising on Google may benefit from the addition of another ad unit. However, Google’s LSA spam is becoming more prevalent as a result.

Several problems currently plague local service ads, as noted in replies to Marvin’s tweet.

  • Ads for non-existent businesses. 
  • Business profiles with fake reviews are being advertised.
  • Ads for business profiles that have been disabled.


There must be a quality assurance gap somewhere, considering every one of these ad packs has the promise of being “Google screened.”

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Google Takes These Reports Seriously

Google takes these reports seriously, according to Marvin.

“We are dedicated to providing a reliable experience for users and service providers using the LSA unit. We have taken your comments seriously and will continue to do so.”

It’s to be hoped that Google can reduce the number of spammy LSAs before they erode consumer confidence in the ad unit. For legitimate businesses using LSAs to advertise their services, this test means that your ad will be more likely to appear on the front page of Google.

Google allows you to report any fraudulent ads that appear next to yours.

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