Google has fired up the profit-machine tests again and is currently running ads next to Google My Business profiles. And it will be angering small business owners the second these ads appear on their profiles.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free service Google provides to any business that does brick and mortar, local customer types of business. Free is good. Being listed is a necessity. So, this ad news is heartbreaking.

Why Its Bad

Running ads is how Google makes its money, so you’d expect some advertisements on the page. However, when those ads are in your same industry, that’s when you feel like a worm on someone else’s fishhook.

So, a potential customer does a search for Mexican food and your Google My Business listing appears on the page. Yay! And it has your competitor’s ad right on your Google My Business listing. That’s bad. That’s really bad.

What to Do About It

Deleting your Google My Business listing would seem tempting while you’re angry about seeing that ad, but deletion is not a good idea.You really do need your listing to drive customers to your business.

Opting out of this ad program is currently not an option. Literally. It is not an option that’s offered by Google. At least it isn’t at this time. Likely, in the future, paying to opt out would be quite the moneymaker for Google. So, expect that, if they decide to make this test a permanent “feature.”

This isn’t the first time Google has run ads in and around Google My Business Listings. So, it’s too soon to tell if this is going to be permanent. But if you don’t like ads appearing on your listing by your competitor then you should probably complain to Google, to let your voice be heard.

If You Need Help

Michael is the JOHO Marketing expert on all things digital marketing. If you’d like him to help you deal with anything related to Google My Business, he can help.