Google Maps users may soon see a new form of advertising when they use the popular mapping service that displays local search ads when the product is being used.
The ads will be displayed on Google Maps for the desktop and for mobile. Desktop users, those who use a web browser on a desktop computer to access Google Maps, will see ads in two places according to Google.
First, within the search results list right underneath the search box as the first search result. The result is highlighted with a purple Ad icon underneath its title but that is the only difference when compared to the organic results.
The result is highlighted in purple on the map as well which distinguishes them from regular organic listings on the map.
Google notes that a click on the ad in the search box or on the pin on the map itself will show details about the business. The ad furthermore may have a directions button which uses Google Maps' Directions function to direct users to the location.
The new local ad listing on Google Maps will have an impact organic search results as fewer organic rankings are shown when users search on Google Maps.
It is also fact that the first listing receives the bulk of user actions, and since the ad is not really that distinguishable from regular listings, it is likely that this is the case here as well.
Local search ads on Google Maps for mobile work in pretty much the same fashion. When you search using the Google Maps application on a supported mobile device, an ad may be returned as the first result.
Its listing displays the purple ad icon, and its listing on the map itself is also highlighted in pink.
CBS News has some background information on the implementation. According to the company, Google will tailor ads to user interest based on past searches and other activities using Google services.
So, instead of just displaying matching ads to users when they search, a search for restaurant could push a local restaurant ad to the user, Google dives deeper by analyzing the user's past activity.
It is unclear how far this goes, but a scenario could look like this: Google notes that the user likes to eat at McDonalds, so when a search for restaurant is recorded, Google might push an ad for a nearby McDonalds over other restaurant businesses.
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