For over a year now we have heard rumors of Google ads showing up in the local 3 pack.  I have always scratched my head and thought “How could this work? it’s a map if you’re not there, you’re not there” right?  turns out to be wrong.

I came across my first local ad out in the wild this morning while doing some research for a local client and guess what I found?  A local 4 pack with one paid ad.  So what does this mean for local search?  I can tell you, at this point, I have more questions than answers.

Is local now based on Distance, Relevance, Prominence, and Budget?

Is it possible to insert your business where you don’t exist or do you still have to be at least in the area of the intended search?

At this point there is no location marker on the map, will that change?