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How Do You Get a Branded Google Map Pin? 5 Facts to Know

Updated on June 2, 2021

We have seen a big increase lately in the amount of branded map pins that exist on Google Maps.  I was told by several people that they were a part of Google’s local campaigns but didn’t see any mention of them in the help center and very little information on how you qualify for a local campaign.  Luckily Kyle Harris from DAC Group was able to get me some answers about these pins and how to get them.

Branded map pins are a paid feature.

Yep, sorry guys, you need to pay Google to get this feature.  It’s not free.  It is part of their local campaigns product with Google Ads.

They don’t give you a permanent branded pin.

For example, A&W has a branded pin on the Google Maps app but on desktop it shows up as a normal pin.  I’m assuming this is due to the ad settings.

Branded pins are accompanied by purple ad in the Knowledge Panel

When you click on the business with the branded pin, you’ll see an ad in the Knowledge Panel.


Google no longer requires a minimum ad spend.

Google used to have a requirement for businesses to have a $1,000/day budget but this is no longer the case.  Kyle Harris’ Google rep said:

’The recommended budget is still $1000/day but campaigns can drive traffic on a smaller budget. With a smaller budget, it’s not guaranteed you’ll receive significant volume. Based on past experience, I’d recommend at least $100 per location for campaigns running on less than $1000/day.’’



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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Geez, as if large chains don’t have enough visibility and brand recognition already. So much for Google “local”…

    1. Hey Lee,
      I know it’s not just in the US because I see these all over the place in Canada. I’m not sure if they’re in the UK or not. I haven’t seen one there.

  2. Joy, do you see these being at all useful for service area businesses? Can they run alongside a traditional Google Ads Search campaign, or is this an either/or type situation?

  3. Hi Joy, have you seen any cases where businesses with less than 20 locations were able to set up branded map pins through a local campaign? I just saw one today where a vehicle smog inspection station with only about 6 locations had branded Google map pins and I doubt they have the budget to pay $1,000 a day (I don’t know that for sure of course). Have you heard or seen any other recent examples of this?

    1. Hey Matt,

      It’s definitely possible that they changed the criteria on this. I’m expecting they’ll let more and more companies in (Google does like to make money). I’ll check with a few people to see what I can find out and post back here when I do.

    2. Hey Matt,

      I heard back from the original source (Kyle Harris) and he confirmed: “The requirements and recommendations for Local Campaigns are now at an account level. You can now create multiple campaigns as long as the requirements are met at an account level. Example: You can create 5 individual Local Campaigns with each assigned $200 budget per day, 2 stores each, and 30 day campaign duration.”

      Also, it looks like they decreased the # of locations needed – it’s now only 10.

      Previously each campaign needed to spend $1K/day for a minimum of 30days, now it works as long as the account is spending at that level on Local Campaigns.

    1. If you qualify given the criteria mentioned in the article, I’d suggest reaching out to Google to ask them to add it.

  4. Hi

    Thanks for this. Does anyone have some more practical information?
    As in, do we add a favicon in the GMB listing? Or does it need to be added somehow in Google Ads?
    How do we tell Google that we have a favicon for them to use?
    Do we have to speak to our rep?

    So, how do we practically do this?


  5. Hello! I don’t think this feature is still available in Brazil. Google used to show logo on Maps but not anymore 🙁 Now it shows an ugly square not-branded pin.

  6. Thanks for this. Does anyone have some more practical information?
    As in, do we add a favicon in the GMB listing? Or does it need to be added somehow in Google Ads?

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