By choice, Google has put relatively few ads in Maps. However, that’s going to change (via Recode) as advertisers will now be able to add “promoted pins” in Maps and place deals and discounts on place cards.
Promoted pins will appear in the main Maps view and allow businesses to have an icon/logo to better denote a store location. The second type of ad will allow business to offer coupons and other product inventory information on their place card along with other details like store hours and reviews.
Google has long been hesitant to place ads in the popular Maps app. According to Jerry Dischler, VP of search ads, the company has been waiting for the right “user and advertiser trade-offs.” They think these two approaches will not be too intrusive and might be useful for consumers.
For the moment, Google is not working on using a phone’s location history to serve targeted ads based on where you’ve been. Google ad chief Sridhar Ramaswamy believes that “It hasn’t crossed the threshold of being truly, truly useful while being privacy sensitive.”
As Recode notes, local ads are a top revenue generator for Google with competitors like Yelp already selling local search ads and Facebook experiment with location-based retail ads. A third of Google searches are now related to location and are growing 50% faster than mobile searches in general.