The latest version of Google Maps for Android and iOS now includes a dose of targeted advertising. Referred to by the search giant as “relevant ads,” they will appear at the bottom of the screen as an expandable banner after performing a general business search.
Specifically, users will see an ad that includes a title and description of the offer. Tapping or swiping up will reveal more information like the address, phone number, photos and even reviews of the business in question as seen in the example below. These ads are said to operate just like a normal search result would except the business is paying for a prominent position.
Advertisers will get paid when a user requests more information, gets directions, taps to call the business and taps the ad headline. Free (non-paid) actions include saving business information for later, sharing a business with a friend or starting navigation. Google notes that AdWords will only charge for up to two paid clicks per ad impression.
Google Maps is ripe for the picking as more than a billion people use the service every month. An injection of advertising probably isn’t what most users want to hear but we have to remind ourselves that despite all of the various markets that Google is in, they still rely on advertising revenue for a large portion of their earnings. After all, it’s what affords them the luxury of being able to try experimental projects like Google Glass.