Google has announced a number of moves to help small-to-medium businesses and non-profits hit hard by COVID-19.
The first is an additional $200m (£159m) in advertising grants for NGOs (Non-governmental Organisations) to offer a total of $1bn to better support non-profits. Google Ad Grants works like Google Ads online advertising, displaying a non-profit’s message to people who are searching for such organisations. Qualifying non-profits Can get $10,000 in in-kind Google Ads advertising every month.
Google is also expanding its small business ads tool, Smart Campaigns, to over 150 countries. Smart campaigns, built specifically for small businesses, is an automated tool that helps companies promote their business on Google. Smart campaigns in now available in all 150 countries where Google Ads is available and Google said that it enables businesses to get ads up and running in just 15 minutes. In-app signup is currently available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Japan, with more countries to follow.
Additionally, Google is adding a free maps feature for all small and medium-sized business ads users. This will offer a free Promoted Pins feature in maps for all Smart Campaign users until end of September.
Finally, a new Maps-based unit on the Google Shopping tab will appear with specific product results from local stores when the user indicates a local intent (e.g. laptops near me) or when they filter to ‘Nearby’ results.