Google Maps now showing Ads within Listing Tab

Google has been expanding where and when they show ads in general and in Maps in particular. I am not sure when this started showing but Google Maps is now also showing ads deep within the tabs of business listings in Text View:

ad-in-tabs2

Showing ads inside Maps in general increases relevancy. Displaying subtle ads at the bottom of Maps adds context.

However showing them in this new context seems intrusive to me. There is something very disconcerting about reading the intimate details of a business listing and being confronted with the ad of a competitor.

It is possible that not too many business owners will notice as I am not sure that they or many Maps users go this deep into Text View in Maps. However, this is one case where I do not think that the benefit to Google will outweigh the negative feelings of business owners… It smacks of a certain blatant exploitation of the businesses’ good will equity.

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Google Maps now showing Ads within Listing Tab by

19 thoughts on “Google Maps now showing Ads within Listing Tab”

  1. I have no way of knowing how many people (searchers) go deep into the details of a business listing at the Local Business Center. My suspiceon is that very few do so. I’ve carried a $ money off coupon on some local listings…..and have yet to have a single customer bring that coupon up. (If the web were a venue for hide and seek…I’d suggest the best place to “never be found” might well be the detailed information in the LBC ). :D

    Certain sites on the web provide opportunities for exposing the details of ones business in a unique way. Those same sites will have PPC ads on those pages. They offer the developers of those pages 2 options–show your materials with ads (they might be brutally competitive)–or pay the site owner who is carrying your description/content a fee to show the page without ads. Possibly Google might go in that direction. (just an idea).

    Dave

  2. @Dave

    Yes I would not think that many folks make it that deep…all the more reason to not put ads there… how could the very minimal gain be worth annoying the smb’s?

    Mike

  3. Mike: I’m merely suggesting this could be a way for Google to directly start to monetize the effort to generate direct revenues off of the massive amounts of data collection and establishment of Google Maps.

    I still think relatively few searchers go directly to Maps. They often find retailers through universal search, whereby a map pops up in organic searches with either an authoritative map, a 3 pack, 10 pak or the new 1 k map (I prefer to call it the measles view….:D).

    Google could present the information in maps within organic in a different way then it does now. It could represent the information in such a way that the primary information and link goes directly to the LBC information.

    If that were to happen the business shown MIGHT have an option in terms of two alternatives:

    Show the information without ads….and pay Google a fee OR show the information with ads (probably from competitors).

    The above scenario already exists on the web.

    Google might address this scenario differently.

    I’m simply suggesting this might be a “first step” in directly monetizing the effort to build Google Maps.

    Dave

  4. A wild ass guess, but I’d bet this is probably paving the way for a paid space from the SMB.

    “If you buy our new SMB profile package, we’ll remove those other ads, and use that space for a shiny new display/promotion space ad from the SMB.” It’s the perfect “white space” for SMB-to-consumer interactive offers.

    That’s what I’d do if I were looking to pimp up the space and revenue model.

  5. Ads are creeping in everywhere it seems..

    I really don’t mind them. In fact I usually am looking to buy something when I click on one…

    The major issue is the advertisers…most of the time they aren’t selling anything decent…

    Target me all you want, just sell me something if I click through!

  6. @Perry & Dave
    Those make sense as revenue models… it would be a huge change for Google to move to direct revenue model for Maps but I suppose that in this economy anything is possible… it would necessitate the “s” word (service) becoming a reality… that would be a pretty big step…

    @Richard
    I would imagine that the inventory is still very shallow in the local space so they will be mostly irrelevant…

    Mike

  7. Mike: My comments on the above are simply guess work. I do know there are examples on the web where information is provided and there is an option for either PPC (for competing businesses) or the source of the information pays the website owner a flat fee and no PPC info is provided.

    Only Google knows the frequency of people visiting the businesses on the 10 pac and clicking through on those ads. Only google knows the likelyhood of a visitor hitting the link to the website or the link to the LBC info. I am confident Google could direct a majority of traffic into the LBC info should Google so desire.

    Mike: I absolutely agree, should Google somehow take these actions and start to directly monetise off of this it SHOULD lead to greater customer service and responsiveness on Google’s behalf.

    (shrugs). who knows what will happen. I think Google Jen should join our conversation ;)

  8. @Dave

    To some extent the new K-Pack is a very real attempt at just that, driving more traffic deeper into Maps…so I agree they could direct traffic there should they so desire.

    Mike

  9. Mike,
    On a different but related topic…what controls whether the default format of maps is Text View or Maps View when one enters Maps? This has always puzzled me, as sometimes I get the map, sometimes I get the text and I don’t really know the rhyme or reason. Do some applications (such as maybe the 10 pack, the one box, etc) lead to text and some to Maps?

    I ask about this because I wonder how many people ever see the text view, and how many see the maps.

    Miriam

  10. I don’t quite see how showing ads paves the way to a paid model??

    Google has been adding ads to lots of its other services lately. Google Finance, of particular note. Obviously in an attempt to increase overall revenues on properties that were not pulling their own weight while the overall online ad environment feels the sting of recession.

    Google is simply trying it’s best to minimize the drops in revenues caused by an overall decrease in ad spending (less per click) while trying to increase impressions, and thus total clicks, by publishing ads in more places.

    *thinking out loud* umm, from a supply/demand point of view won’t that force click prices even lower? increasing supply of ad space?

    Those new ads look like content network ads, not search network or Maps ads.

  11. @Miriam

    Text view is the default view when entering Maps via any click on any of the Universal Local results links.

    Maps view is the default view when entering via the Maps button on top or when you go to maps.google.com

    Some actions from within text view will force you to Maps view….like the edit button…

    @Stever
    I think Dave was postulating a possible model….I would agree with you that it is unlikely…

    It seems that showing the ads would decrease click throughs and reduce average ad quality, wouldn’t that drive the price up?

    Those new ads look like content network ads, not search network or Maps ads.

    Could you describe for me the difference?

    Mike

  12. If those are content network ads then click through’s have no impact on ad quality scores.

    Search Network ads are the ones shown alongside Organic SERPS

    Content Network ads are those shown via Adsense on other web pages.

    Map Ads are the location based ones seen in Maps view. Usually one at top of list of businesses on left side of map, and a few below.

    The little text ad seen at bottom frame of a Map, similar to one seen at top of Gmail, I’m not sure what those are. I assumed content network but upon closer look it is a Map ad, i think.

    The ads you are talking about inside text view of Maps is indeed Content Network. I just looked at page source code and I see adsense java script code in there for a 336×280 ad block.

  13. Re-qualifying my statement about ad quality. Content network performance does not influence overall ad quality score at the campaign level, Google ignores those clicks in determining your ad QS. It may have it’s own seperate QS in comparison to other content network ads particular ads (and their keywords) are competing for.

    In Adwords you can choose to have your ads run on the content network, or not. And you can set separate bid prices for the content network, if you want to run ads there. Content network traffic is generally lower quality, and in general see’s lower CTR’s. A random ad on the side of a random webpage, even if keyword relevant, does not generate much interest due to user intent while on that web page. But Ads on search pages are seen by people with search/find intent, so get more clicks and generate more sales, thus worth more to an advertiser. Average content network click prices tend to be significantly cheaper than search network ads.

    Map ads, I assume are calculated like search network ads, in terms of QS. But from what I have seen they have a much much lower CTR than ads in organic SERPS. This is due in part to ad positioning on the page and due to limits Google places on your Ad titles in map ads. Your Map ad must use your Business Name as seen in your LBC account while the organic SERP ads you can create keyword targeted ad titles that are more visible and more targeted to user intent and the keywords they used.

    Now CTR in map ads is about 1/3 that of organic search ads but conversion rates are about double in maps. Map users have a more specific intent then Organic SERP users. So click prices on Map ads are a bit higher than search ads, because each click is more valuable to the advertiser, but you just get a lot fewer of those compared to geo-targeted text ads that appear in SERPS.

    Got an old post bout it here http://stever.ca/local-internet-marketing/map-ad-titles-limited-to-lbc-listing-title/

  14. Interesting thoughts. I don’t think I really object to having ads in the deep detail pages. For one thing, I think that evidence shows that users are unlikely to click through to the deeper pages in the first place. Also, the ads are more targeted this way. So if I am an advertiser I would be all for this. We have to view this from both the user perspective and the advertiser perspective, so as long as the new rules are applied to everyone across the board it’s still a level playing field.

  15. Google has deep pockets and can run services for free for a couple of years before they start monetizing. Look at youtube, they started ads recently. I liked the local ads in maps but these listing ads are not blended properly :)

  16. Hello,
    I mean: using google maps wizard I set a map with pin points of my interest. Following rules, I embedded the map in my site, but when I see it, I can’t see in proper scale: I see my entire country or a little slice and I have to zoom in and out.
    So the question.
    There’s a way I can set the right scale and fix it in my embedded google map wizard created ?
    Thanks in advance.

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