Google starts injecting ‘relevant ads’ in Google Maps app search results

Google Maps 1.1 for iOS (teaser 001)

In another showing of the key differences between Google and Apple, the Internet giant on Thursday announced that relevant advertising will now start appearing in the native Google Maps app for iOS and Android devices.

Relevant advertising will appear at the bottom of the screen after you perform a search, Google said, adding that ads may include a title, ad text and a link to get directions.

Great, Google, just great! You can go ahead and sell me at a premium to advertisers all you want, but I hate ads and am switching over to Apple Maps as we speak…

You can tap an ad or swipe upward to reveal more information, like the address, phone numbers, reviews, interior photos and so forth.

Google also introduced a new ‘Get location details’ click event, resulting in standard CPC charge. Advertisers can optionally buy additional click actions such as directions, click-to-call, location details and what not. There are also free actions like saving business information for later, sharing a business with a friend or starting navigation.

Here’s an example ad on an Android device.

Google Maps (ads in search results 002)Google Maps (ads in search results 001)

To show ads on the Google Maps app, advertisers need to add location extensions to their search campaigns or create an ad with the AdWords Express tool.

AdWords will only charge for up to two paid clicks per ad impression. Reporting for paid clicks is available by segmenting reports in your AdWords account by Click Type.

According to a post over at Google’s Inside AdSense blog, over one billion people use Google Maps services every month. The company is adamant that the new experience is “more attractive for users and more effective for advertisers”.

We’ll see about that.

Such a move might not make a difference on the ad platform that is Android, but users on a highly curated app platform with premium experience (hint: iOS) could easily take an issue against Google polluting their search results with pesky ads.

Okay, yours truly may also be overreacting a bit.

After all, I’m the kind of guy who happily pays for ad removal in otherwise free iPhone apps – in part because I don’t mind supporting quality software.

Relevant ads in Google Maps are probably a backend update as Google hasn’t indicated that an iOS/Android app update was imminent.

At any rate, feel free to download the Google Maps app free from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play store for Android.

So, what do you make of this?