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I've been doing some reading on Google Local Search Ads.

I see a lot of Local Search Ads showing up if you search for a local service in Google Maps, but less so when you search for a local service in the local SERPs.

Is it possible to ensure that a Local Search ad will only show up in the local SERPs and not in Google Maps?

See below a screenshot of an ad in the local SERPs displaying an ad, this is the sort of ad I would like to place, but without paying to place ads on the full Google Maps.

example of local SERP ad

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What you're looking for can be accomplished in a normal Google Ads campaign

You'd want to run Expanded Text Ads with Call Extensions and Location Extensions.

Then you'd just create super specific Geo targeting. As a result you'd get something like this that only appears in the specific areas you target.

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The ad would not show in the maps.

Out of curiosity, lets see if we can create a Local Ads Campaign without a location.

You'd have to not have a location tied to your Google My Business (but rather a service area) and then configure a Local Ad campaign in Google Ads. Though, this would sort of defeat the purpose, as showing in the map is a primary reason people run these.

We can try it out with my account, I have my GMB service area set as all of the US, UK, and Canada (lol) - site's only a year old and I don't want to get put in a relevancy box.

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Then de-select driving directions - Store visits will be greyed out because without a physical location Google Ads will automatically make it not eligible.

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Then create your ads and proceed like normal. I have no idea how this would actually work out in practice but I was able to make it all the way through the campaign setup.

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I'm guessing that without a location set, your map result (see the tabs in the screenshot) would either just not show, or show in the maps sidebar but not have a pin.

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