Google woos local advertisers with Map ad icons

May 16, 2013 | Online advertising, Search engine marketing

Google has overhauled its popular Maps web service with more personalisation features and icons highlighting businesses running ads and promotions. Watch a Google video explaining how the service works below: The move marks Google’s latest attempt to make its maps more attractive to advertisers who have tended to focus on Google’s main search page. The […]

Google has overhauled its popular Maps web service with more personalisation features and icons highlighting businesses running ads and promotions.
Watch a Google video explaining how the service works below:


The move marks Google’s latest attempt to make its maps more attractive to advertisers who have tended to focus on Google’s main search page.
The update was announced at Google’s I/O developers conference in San Francisco.
Previously, firms advertising on Google’s Maps were identified by a blue pin, rather than the red marker used for other businesses, but this was not always obvious what the pins referred to.
Under the new system, the names of businesses are shown on the map itself and the first few words of their ads appear in a box superimposed over their location.
maps%20google.jpg
In addition if they are running a special offer, a blue shopping-tag icon appears next to their name.
Google has spent huge sums developing its maps service, licensing third-party content and gathering its own data via sensor-equipped vehicles. But until now it has had little beyond brand loyalty to point to as a return on that investment.
While the move could help change that, it stressed that the redesign was “experimental” while it monitored feedback.
“While we test these ad formats in the new Google Maps, there won’t be any charges for clicks on ads,” a spokeswoman added. “We’ll keep users posted in the AdWords blog and help-centre once this changes.”
The new icons will not feature on the firm’s smartphone apps for the time being.
Deeper personalisation
The revamp will also see Google prioritise the names of locations a user has frequently searched for in the past using any Google service
It will also highlight restaurants and other businesses a user’s friends have posted positive reviews about on its Google+ social network, and landmarks related to previous searches (eg. If a user searches for a zoo, the map will highlight other family attractions nearby).
The firm has also simplified its user interface by replacing its left-hand column with “cards” specific to a single location.
I addition, Google Earth functionality has been built into the service so users can see the planet from space with near-live cloud data superimposed on top, or simulate a fly-by of landmarks.
According to consultants Opus Research, Google already has more than a 90% share of location-based searches in the US.

All topics

Previous editions

Get email edition