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.
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.