On Tuesday, Google announced that Adwords displayed in Maps would not open to an info window that “will feature new interactive links that are designed to connect users to your business quickly”. Currently the new adwords info bubbles are only showing in the Map View.
Note that the ads at the bottom of the Map are still present and could very well be for a different business.
According to the Adwords Blog: “Previously, a click on your ad’s info window could only take the user to your website. Now, users will be able to interact with the info window to get the information they’re looking for about your business, right away. The new links include “Get Directions,” “Street View” (where available), and “Save to My Maps.” Shortly after we implement these links, we’ll also add a “Send” link, allowing the user to send your business info to their phone or email. Users will still be able to click through to your site if they wish — the info window simply offers additional free functionality.”
Currently the new adwords info bubbles are only showing in the Map View. It appears that the ads also are somewhat more prominently displayed in Text View (the view first seen when entering Maps via the Local 10 Pack) but when clicking on the ad icon, it still takes the user directly to the website of the advertiser rather than the info window. TextView upgrades in Maps typically lag behind Mapview.
The implementation seems consistent with the way that adwords are integrated into organic search although due to the more graphic, less wordy, nature of maps, they are more visually obvious. The increased integration of Adwords into Maps makes sense on a number of levels.
At this point, Maps traffic is but a small % of total search traffic so this change is unlikely to set the world on fire. However as search moves over to mobile in which the map is likely to be the dominant search interface, that will change.
One has to wonder though whether the prominent display of phone number might divert the user from a website click to a phone call, thus diverting income from Google as well. Google would be well served to offer call tracking to Adwords as an option in this context.Local AdWord ads now more integrated with Maps by Mike Blumenthal