In its ongoing quest to capture more local ad dollars, Google yesterday announced the launch of AdWords Express, a simplified version of their search advertising platform. This new advertising product aims to streamline the process of purchasing search ads, enabling smaller, local businesses to get on board.

If AdWords Express looks familiar, that's because it was originally launched in select markets last October under the name Google Boost.

Like its predecessor, AdWords Express aims to reduce the learning curve of setting up an ad campaign by shifting some of the heavy lifting over to Google's end. For example, the platform automatically recommends keywords and bidding amounts rather than expecting the business owner to have that expertise.

All the business owner needs to do is enter a category, write a headline and description, set a budget and tell AdWords Express whether a clicked ad should send people to the company's Website or a Google Places page. The finished product is a a cost-per-click ad campaign that runs on Google search results pages, on Google Maps and on mobile devices running Android.