Google Tags were a trial advertising feature of Google and are still appearing as small yellow triangular signs under the listing information for the business during Google Search, as well as on the Map next to the balloon for the particular business.The advertising cost US$25 per month with 30 days free trial.
The official statement of Google for the change is:
Tags is being retired on April 29, 2011. We’ve halted new signups for Tags as of April 15, 2011, and we’ll be working with existing participating businesses to help them meet their marketing needs with other Google products where possible.
We will automatically remove any active tags at the end of April 2011. No action is required from you.
The last issued bill covered spend for Tags through the end of March. We will be providing Google Tags free for the month of April to all existing Tags advertisers.
Google gives the following reason for the change:
Since we introduced our Google Tags trial last year, many businesses have used Tags to help potential customers make easier, more informed decisions when searching. Throughout this period, we said we’d be monitoring Tags closely and would make changes as we learned more about how users and businesses used the product.
We’ve made a decision to discontinue the Tags trial and shift our efforts toward other present and future advertising options for local businesses. We’ve learned a lot from our Tags trial, and we will take that knowledge into account as we continue to provide ways to connect users and local businesses.
There are many great options for small businesses to reach more customers online, including a free Google Places listing, Boost, and AdWords location extensions. We encourage you to explore options that work best for your business.
If anyone has concerns that are not answered by these statements, they could refer to the information in the Tags Troubleshooter.
Let’s hope Google will bring new, more creative and better advertising solutions for the small business, which do not provide all the troubles that Google Tags did along with themselves.
Update: Google just posted an official statement: An Update on Tags