Google teased "promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations, or lunch spots" on Maps.
In what was probably an inevitable move, ads are coming to Google Maps.
In a longer blog post about its AdWords platform, Google announced that it is "experimenting with a variety of ad formats on Maps that make it easier for users to find businesses as they navigate the world around them."
Google teased "promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations, or lunch spots" along a route. Maps is also "adding new features like special offers and the ability to browse product inventory." A screenshot, for example, showed a Walgreens on a map with a card that offered $3 off contact solution.
Search ads can appear on the desktop or mobile version of Maps, Google says. On the desktop, if you searched for a coffee shop or pharmacy nearby, the results might show an ad-supported result first, designated by a purple "Ad" badge (above)
"People's online and offline worlds are colliding—whether you're researching restaurant ideas for dinner on Friday night or looking for a store that sells rain boots in your size," wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of Google ads and commerce.
Last week, Google announced the addition of shopping ads to Image Search. So when a person looks up photos of, say, a sofa, Google will display relevant promos from its partners.