Google adding local advertisements into mobile Maps apps

Google has outlined a new advertising strategy for their mobile Maps app for Android and iOS, that sees local, "relevant" ads displayed at the bottom of the search window. Following the recently launched overhaul to Google Maps which included an iPad version for the first time, Google is now looking at how they're going to continue to monetize it. But, as Alex Dobie at Android Central points out, this isn't anything new.

It's no great surprise to see Google expanding its advertising reach. And ads in Google Maps search results are nothing new — the old version of Maps displayed traditional ad blocks for certain searches, just like Maps on the web. With this latest change, Google will be hoping that local ads with increased relevance to searches will result in more clicks, while also being less obtrusive to users.

A ridiculous percentage of Google's revenue comes from advertising. In return for giving us so much for free, we're deluged with advertising. At least in this instance, it appears that a little bit of thought has gone into the design, so as to make the ads blend into the app. What say you? Disappointed that ads will be in your searches, or are you OK with it since we're not handing over any cash for Google Maps in the first place?

Source: Google via Android Central

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Google adding local advertisements into mobile Maps apps


Google is once again showing that we are the product, not the customer. It's no surprise that this has happened.

I usually use a map app to find directions, not ads... I guess a small ad on an ipad isn't really a big deal, but even a small ad on a smartphone screen is a problem.

I am getting fed up seeing adds. I find now I am closing a lot of mews articles because I refuse to watch the 15 second introductory add. I am not sure where this is going to end up?

It's all about money. Everything in the world has become like that when it comes to technology. It's a new territory for companies to make money off of.

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Would you rather pay for the app? How much do mapping apps with Turn-by-Turn directions usually go for these days? $20, $30, $40+? Maybe a monthly/yearly subscription?

You can't have it both ways. You either pay with money to use a mature service like Google Maps, or you pay with your time and your clicks.

People have to stop expecting everything for free...

Exactly. Nice when someone makes a good point (several of them actually).

Someone on Twitter said it best:

"on no! Ads!

I'll take ads + reliability over whatever Apple's maps are."

Which are, no ads and dead reliable. The whole fiasco with Apple maps was, and still is blown out of proportion.

:shrugs. YMMV, I guess. The POI database is still woefully lacking (and/or screwed up). Just a couple of months ago, my friend and I were up in Itasca, IL (a suburb of Chicago - not exactly what you'd call the country). He was complaining "why is Google Maps telling me to go to the McDonald's in the middle of Indiana?" I think it was something like a 3 hour drive. I looked at his phone and sure enough it was Apple Maps, trying to route him to what it claimed was the closest McDonald's in the area.

Blown out of proportion or not, I still think the Google Maps app is overall, the superior product, especially with the recent update. But again, YMMV.

Could say the same for Google. Looked at the nearest Publix(grocery store), Google wanted to go 7 miles away. Apple Maps pointed us to .5 away. Google had that particular store labeled as a school.

Never said Google Maps was perfect. Neither app is; both Apple Maps and Google Maps have had their screw ups, but Google's usually more right than it's wrong, and I don't think Apple Maps is at that point where it can say the same.
Quite frankly, I'd rather use the web-based Google Maps on Safari than trust the Apple Maps app.

Rarely do I use Maps. Of any sort. Unless I'm traveling. The at that point, I actually look at the map. Not just the route. Something that has been lost in this "follow the blue line" society. So for me, Maps is something I use to try and find the best route quickly. That's the problem with all maps. It's a TFU problem most of the time.

I'd rather pay a few bucks for an app to avoid ads at any cost. I do that for games, especially. I'm continuing to wean myself off Google services. Not because they aren't incredibly helpful or useful, or function-rich. I am all Apple and iCloud fits better, and no ads.

Haven't seen it yet, when they appear..whatever. If the "price" I pay for using them is some local targeted ads on my iphone so be it.

Apple Maps is better than it was at launch but I'm still pretty heavy into Google services so I don't see that changing because of Google doing what I kind of expected them to do from the beginning. They exist because of ads.

"ad" has become such a dirty word. Google isn't trying to sell us viagra here. They're not in Nigeria trying to scam us for our money. They're just trying to make some cash off their ads while providing us with a service we want or need.

I am speechless!

What did you guys expect? It's a freaking ad company and Larry and The L Team beg you to CLICK anything ... anywhere ... somewhere to make a dollar!