Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ads Appear On Google Maps

Let the hotel hawking begin

Want to buy property in Bangalore, India? Or stay in a Dublin hotel? Google hopes so, because the search giant's latest effort in terms of monetization is tied to Google Maps, and when you search for certain cities, you'll see ads for things like these placed at the bottom of the page.

There's not much to the ads; they consist of a link, a line of text, and the words "Sponsored Link" against a blue background. There are also a couple of arrows that seem like they should lead to other ads, but we haven't yet found an instance in which they work.

As another example of things possibly going wrong, no ads appeared following Google Maps searches for major cities like Moscow and London.

This may be a test, then, but quite a few people, including Amit Agarwal in India and Dave Shaw in the UK, are starting to see the ads. So it looks like Google is going full speed ahead with the effort, and the potential problems are just due to not a lot of advertisers having been clued in.

The idea of monetizing Google Maps is clever, anyway, and if Google's third quarter report doesn't go well, the company will have at least ensured that investors have one less missed opportunity to complain about.

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