Ads added to Google Maps API

Google has been distributing ads more widely on all of its properties of late. I noted a certain discomfort with their intrusive nature deep inside the bowels of the business listing details when it was roled out in mid February in Maps. At the Maps help forum a business owner asked (caps are his and I assume intended):
HOW OR WHY CAN ANOTHER BUSINESS ADVERTISE ON MY REVIEWS?

THERE ARE FIVE REVIEWS ON MY LISTING, ONE POOR ONE FROM SOMEONE WHO ADMITS TO NOT EVEN STAYING AT MY GUESTHOUSE AN ANOTHER ADVERTISING HER GUESTHOUSE. I CANNOT CONTACT ANYONE TO GET ANYTHING DONE ABOUT THIS, IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE OR ARE WE BEING RUN BY A COMPUTER NOW. I’M SCARED I THINK THEY HAVE LANDED.

Maps API Ads Now the Google Geo Developers Blog has announced that they have changed the API to show ads along with searches for local businesses performed through the API:

As many of you already know, developers can use the GoogleBar control in the Maps API to allow users to search the map for local businesses, landmarks and points of interest. As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to improve user and developer experience, we have some changes coming up for the humble GoogleBar. Most importantly, we are adding advertising targeted to the user’s searches. We hope that this, as with all Google advertising, will improve the user experience by providing targeted and relevant sponsored results. You will benefit from this as well, as you can make money from these Google ads provided on Maps API sites (see below).

Clearly, Google runs a risk of alienating developers, users and businesses with their new strategy. But the feedback has been mixed with some posters noting that the ads bring additional relevance. I am not so sure.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Ads added to Google Maps API by

8 thoughts on “Ads added to Google Maps API”

  1. Well. Its up to the developer if he wants to make a buck using AdSense and maps or not. If you are developing something which uses the search feature and are using the new interface, then yes. ads are being shown. But this is by all means done by the developer, client just will have to accept that the website owner wants to enable those ads.

    There is always the possibility to use the old style Google Bar I [i]guess[/i]

  2. But if I understood this correctly, it comes as part and parcel the business listing and pov data? So if you are using those then you will have the ads? Is it required if they use that data?

    Again as you point out its a developer decision but…

    Mike

  3. Most developers do not currently use the GoogleBar. Only developers using this control will get ads inside of it. If they don’t want the ads, they can remove the line of code that adds the Googlear.

    Developers who want local search integration without ads are still welcome to use the standard AJAX Local Search API.

  4. Thanks for the clarification. I do not use the API and am not familiar with it and their post made it seem as if it was required if you used the GoogleBar. Having a choice is really the only way.

    Now if only the business whose name is being used to show ads had a similar choice.

    Mike

  5. @Mike
    as an advertiser you have the option to include your Local Business Ads to the ‘search’ network and to the ‘content’ network.
    The ads used by the Google API imply that it is the ‘content’ network. When setting up your Adwords account to use Local Business Ads you can set up your campaign to use the content network. Even in this there are options. you can choose to target regionally. or to use Site Targeting. By using site targeting you – as an advertiser – tell Google where you want your ads to be shown.
    To learn more you can visit the Adwords Help center: http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=77418&topic=8518&hl=en

  6. @Martijn

    Yes it seems that the new tool is a very flexible addition. I erroneously compared it to the way that Google is placing ads inside of the business records in Maps. I stand corrected on the API…its got choice, flexibility and serves both the developer and the end user well. I can not say the same for the inclusion of ads inside business records.

    Mike

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