“You provide us with store locations, campaign budget, and ad assets. Using these inputs, Google’s machine learning technology will automatically optimize bids, ad placements, and asset combinations. The result aims to maximize store visits and promote your locations across Google properties and networks.”

Simple, right?

And having your nail salon or hardware store show up with location pins in Google Maps isn't just compelling and attractive to local business owners – it's survival.

We won't know for a few weeks the toll that Amazon and others are taking on brick-and-mortar local businesses, but we can certainly guess.  We've been asking the holiday shopping question in our Techsurves the past couple years.

Not surprisingly, more and more consumers sitting at keyboards or hunched over their phones this time of year, rather than braving the weather, the traffic, the parking lots, and the crowds.

The icing, as they say, is on the cake.

This new Google technology includes ads, photos, prices, and other information (in-store pickup, delivery options) so consumers can quickly make a decision.  From a retailer's point of view, what's not to like?