Google Maps Directions Could Soon Include Ads For Businesses Nearby

Image courtesy of Great Beyond

In the future when you’re looking up directions to get somewhere on Google Maps, you could see an ad for a business that happens to be nearby. You know, in case you didn’t realize you probably need to stop for a pizza snack on your way to dinner.

The new “promoted pins” will first appear only for a small group of people while the company tests how their received, and whether or not it’ll distract drivers, Google says.

The ads will be tailored to users’ interests, Google says, based on the info it’s gleaned about you from past searches and how you’ve used other Google services.

So if you love coffee, for example, you could see a promoted pin with a discounted drink from a cafe along your route.

“Local business pages are also getting a brand new look — to encourage consumers to explore your store before they even arrive, we’re adding new features like special offers and the ability to browse product inventory,” Google adds.

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Google is aiming to ”provide tasteful commercial experiences,” said Jerry Dischler, a Google product manager in charge of search, according to the Associated Press.

Though the company has thus far resisted putting ads in Maps, Dischler said it has been waiting for the right “user and advertiser trade-offs,” Re/code reports.

“We think it’s appropriate to have commercial opportunities in this context,” he said at a press briefing.

If you are one of the chosen to see the ads during the initial rollout, you’ll be stuck with them: when asked whether there’s a way to turn off the promoted pins, Dischler said no: “We’re not planning on that currently.”

Google Maps directions may soon lead you to … more ads [Associated Press]
More ads are coming to Google Maps as Google taps its strength on local search [Re/code]