Google will show a searcher a list of competing businesses after you clicked on a Local Service Ad and sent a message to that business to learn more about doing business with them. That is right, Google will offer up a way to reach out to other competitors even after already selected a business and clicked on that ad.
As an FYI, Google recently added messaging to Google LSAs, so I assume these features are evolving.
But as Anthony Higman spotted and posted a rant about on X, “So just when I think Google does something with good with a new feature, they have to immediately let me down by being grimy af! After you text a business in LSA they show your competitors and say “quickly message other” just so they can charge everyone! You are messing with how advertising works,” he added.
Here is a screenshot of this “feature.”
Ginny Marvin, the Google Ad Liaison, responded on X and said, “We saw consumers contacting multiple providers already & the intention with this feature is to remove friction for users. Since launch, the rate of consumers who use the feature is roughly the same as the rate at which they contact multiple providers when it’s not available. The team is monitoring the quality of engagements with providers via this feature & see it’s comparable to that of message leads when it is not used. All providers who are opted into messaging are currently eligible to show up in the “message a few others” list.”
She added, “Contacting multiple providers is observed behavior. I didn’t say it’s a “majority” & don’t know the %, but the rates have remained similar. The team’s evaluating but so far, there isn’t substantial evidence to indicate performance is different from that of regular message leads.” “We were already seeing this behavior of contacting multiple providers. From the user perspective, this aims to make it easier for those consumers to do so. And from what we are seeing so far, this isn’t affecting the rates of this behavior or engagement quality for providers,” she added.
Here is some of the reaction to this:
Wow. Good catch @AnthonyHigman
— Julie F Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon) October 24, 2023
— Chris Barnard (@CPBarnard) October 24, 2023
Agreed – I can’t imagine any of our clients being happy about this. It’s a bad move by Google imho
— Melissa L Mackey (@beyondthepaid) October 25, 2023
Forum discussion at X.
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