Google Maps is the most popular digital mapping service and is among the most widely used service from the search giant. While Google Maps, like other services from the company, tracks user data, it has never been subjected to ads. If a new report is anything to go by then that situation could change soon with Google Maps showing ads similar to other Google products. It is not clear how Google plans to implement ads within Maps, but Google seems to planning to turn Maps into a money making machine overlayed with ads sometime soon.
In a new report from Bloomberg, Google has indicated its plans to make money from Maps by infusing the service with ads. While Google has admitted to bringing ads to Maps, this won’t be the first time for the service. The search giant has been showing sponsored locations in Maps for years now and it also shows direct advertisements on location pages. But with the new strategy, Google is expected to scale up advertisements on the platform as more users and services prefer Google Maps for all of their mapping needs.
The report suggests that Google is still exploring new ways to tap into this market of ads within Maps. Google executive Philipp Schindler told Bloomberg that Maps is classified into four distinct parts: basic directions, requests/searches for things nearby, personalized recommendations, and nearby business listings. The comments suggest that the company does not want to infiltrate core navigation experience with ads and Schindler adds that Google treats it with a “little bit more caution”.
Google, however, sees other three areas as an interesting area for exploring ads. “We want to be able to highlight things that are around you and surface them nearby to you in a way that’s not disrupting your experience. We’ve been pretty careful about not being very aggressive about how we present those to users because we don’t want users to feel like we’re overloading the experience,” Rajas Moonka, Google’s director of product management for Maps, said.
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Moonka has reportedly been on working on Maps advertising for the past two years. For the first time, Google has confirmed its plans to bring ads to Maps but there is no timeline attached to these plans. There is a possibility that we will hear more on these plans at I/O 2019 next month.