Yesterday Google announced the availability of a new online advertising product to help local businesses connect with potential customers in their local area. Google Boost allows business owners create online search ads directly through your Google Places account. There is no on-going management fee for the initial set up, at the moment they have only rolled it out for businesses based in San Francisco, Chicago and Houston.

Google Boost ads could potentially appear under the “Sponsored Links” section of and Google Maps SERPs. For example, if you’re a business owner in San Francisco who has signed up for Google Boost, your ad may show up when someone does a related search like “asian restuarant San Franciso, indicating a cuisine and location that matches yours. Beyond the basics like your company name, address, phone number and website, your ad may also include the number of reviews, an average star rating and a link to your Google Place page to help potential customers find additional useful information about your business. When a map appears alongside the results, a blue pin will help folks quickly find your location on the map. Businesses using Google Tags will also see their yellow tag appear in the ad.