Hot on the heels of announcing ads in image search results, Google has revealed it’s about to incorporate a new kind of ad into Google Maps, too.
We’re talking “promoted pins,” as Google calls them, so when you search for a business like a store or a restaurant, instead of seeing the usual red pins, you’ll see pins as logos.
The Mountain View company said on Tuesday that it’s about to begin “experimenting with a variety of ad formats on Maps that make it easier for users to find businesses as they navigate the world around them.”
So, for example, Maps users “may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route.”
In addition, if you do a search in Maps along the lines of “restaurants near me,” on some occasions you’re going to see sponsored results at the top of the list. These will be clearly indicated with a purple “Ad” box, while the business’s location will also be shown on the map with a purple marker and logo.
The changes also give brands the opportunity to add more information to their business page when you visit via Maps, “to encourage consumers to explore [a] store before they even arrive,” Google said in a post outlining the new features. So besides being able to explore things like product inventory, you could also find information on one-off deals or other offers at specific nearby locations.
It’s a relatively small change for the end user, and should even prove useful when scanning a map for desired data. For Google, of course, it means more ad money, while companies who cough up the cash can hope to increase the profile of their business and pull in more customers, should you be tempted to act on that sponsored information, that is.