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Summary:

Ads in the Google Maps app are relevant to what you searched for, but can send you farther out of the way than the actual nearest result.

Google Maps Logo
photo: Google

The next time you’re using the Google Maps app to search for some late night tacos, your first result might be an ad for a nearby taqueria with a buy-one-get-one-free carne asada special.

Beginning on Thursday, Google started to incorporate ads into its search results on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS. Powered by AdWords, the promoted businesses will appear at the top of your results, but are only being served if they are relevant to your actual search.

Ads appear at the bottom of your screen, just like a typical search result, but are clearly marked with a tiny “Ad” label. They work exactly the same as any other listing – swipe up for the address, phone number and more information about the location.

Maps ads

These aren’t the first ads to come to Google Maps. Google has already offered businesses the ability to promote themselves by highlighting results on the map itself. While this new ad system doesn’t seem terribly invasive, it could mean that your first search result will be an ad for a nearby coffee shop, rather than the actual nearest coffee shop.

I searched around in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, but haven’t been able to find any ads.

  1. Lame! Glad I switched to Now Maps. Bing Maps is also excellent,

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  2. > Google Maps, Google was working fine. Google latitude and all the other app’s Google supported all are missed by the very same people that support Google. This kind of change is no good. …

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  3. I’ve been using Apple Maps on iOS since iOS 6 came out, and for me, it’s been flawless, and not Google.

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  4. All I see is the add on the map. We have degenerated back to the phone book. What about when I travel?

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