New Google Maps ads blend in with their surroundings
Google just introduced more ads to the recently revamped Google Maps, plopping discrete paid placements for local businesses next to organic listings in the service's search results.
When you search for businesses, such as "Chinese food New York City," the top result in the drop down menu will be an ad. Similar ad results will appear on mobile.
The ads do not appear as you type, and only show up after you press enter to carry out a search. On Android, this means you'll have to tap the results list icon to see the new ads. You may also see the option to call a business directly from the ad.
The new Maps ads aren't that different from what you see now in Google search. Each ad is marked with a yellow "Ad" icon and you'll only see one ad at the top of each search.
The revised ads also interact with the map itself similar to the previous ads overhaul that rolled out to Maps for Android and iOS last August.
On PCs, each advertising business appears on the map along with the regular search results. But ad supported locations are identified with a yellow placemarker instead of a red one. Hover over the search result in the drop down menu and a maps pin pops up so you can easily find the business.
Clicking on the ad from the drop down menu is no different than clicking on any other Maps search result. It will open up with further details such as an option for directions, business address, store hours, Street View images, and a phone number.
While some people may gripe at seeing more ads in Google products, the refreshed ads aren't all that intrusive and behave similarly to ads you see on other Google properties. The revised ads are showing up now so expect to see them the next time you start searching for businesses in your area.