Google has launched a beta version of a simplified AdWords system aimed at helping small businesses improve their internet marketing services, the company has announced.

The project, entitled Boost, offers users a targeted and completely automated pay per click spot, combined with a monthly budget cap to ensure companies do not overspend.

Google, which claims on its Lat Long blog that 97 per cent of people conduct research online before using local businesses, says the new feature will allow organisations that have a Google Places account to create search ads quickly and easily.

Kiley McEvoy, Google's product manager, explains that Boost "automatically sets up your ad campaign – figuring out the relevant keywords and how to get the most out of the budget you allotted".

Writing for Search Engine Land, analyst Greg Sterling said that the development "could be a milestone for the [small and medium business] marketplace".

Currently, the beta version of the system is only available in select US cities, but if it proves successful Google may be expected to roll it out to a wider user-base.

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