This was first announced at the Google Above and Beyond Summit in Dublin last month but it appears it has reached the UK, at least in Beta format. (searchengineland article)
The plus box on PPC listings is one of Google’s latest developments in Universal Search and aims to provide more useful PPC listings and (much like the search within a search results) allow a user to select the most appropriate page or product within an advertisers site before leaving the Google SERP.
The plus box example given by Search Engine Land is the inclusion of product listings on the expansion of the plus box along with images, prices and descriptions. This is one of the main uses for the plus box Google is looking to introduce and is linked to a Google Base account for the individual product information.
The other use for this technology that Google indicated was the ability to show branch locations on brand terms (and location specific keywords) so that a user could see and possibly click through to the appropriate web page or even website for their nearest branch. This again is linked to Google Base and driven by the same technology as Google Maps.
Google is starting to join the dots with their different channels with integrations such as this and it is becoming more and more important for advertisers to consider the whole Google suit as part of their strategy. Even if they aren’t going to get much significant volume directly from Google Product Search or Google Maps, it will have an overall benefit on both their PPC and SEO campaigns as Google introduces more and more initiatives such as this.