The search giant is going to start promoting businesses within its Google Maps apps for Android and iOS starting today. When users search for general businesses, promoted ads will show up as the top result, even if they’re not the nearest result. This could be annoying but Google promises to only display ads for businesses that are relevant to your search term.
Ads will be labeled with a tiny banner that says “Ad” in purple. The drop pin will also be displayed in purple to quickly alert users that the result is from an advertiser. Tapping on the sponsored result will show more information about that business, just like any other search result. If a user clicks to get directions or calls the listed number, those actions count as a CPC (cost per click) charge for that advertiser.
This isn’t the first time ads have been built into Google Maps. Previously, businesses could promote themselves through highlighted results. This works similarly but feels more organic as the sponsored results work and look exactly the same as regular search results in Google Maps.