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Google Maps to get promoted pins for local businesses

Thanks to some new changes to AdWords, Google Maps will now let users view ongoing in-store promotions and search the store's inventory.

Published onMay 25, 2016

Advertising has always been a big deal, but with respect to Google, it’s literally a majority of income. According to Investopedia’s Eric Rosenburg, “The bulk of Google’s $66 billion revenue in 2014 came from its proprietary advertising service, Google AdWords. Of that revenue, 68 percent – or just over $45 billion – came from Google’s own websites.” Forbes, too, has pointed out how positively profitable advertising is to Mountain View. To this end, it should not be surprising that earlier today, Android’s maker published a post about some new changes being made to help the AdWords business model.

Of particular relevance to end-users however, is one of the changes that will appear in Google Maps. Starting now, some local businesses will have their own pins – complete with the company’s logo – that allow for easy and immediate visibility while looking for locations. Here is an example, for Walgreens:

Maps Pin

As explained by Google:

We’re also investing in more branded, customized experiences for businesses on Google Maps — geared towards helping you increase store visits. First, we’re experimenting with a variety of ad formats on Maps that make it easier for users to find businesses as they navigate the world around them. For example, Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving 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.

The idea of on-going promotions offered by the retailer, as well as the ability to search and view the very items it’s selling are seemingly a great way for both the business itself to make things more visible, as well as for potential customers to save time – and potentially money – in the process. Here’s an example, for the aforementioned Walgreens location:

Maps Pin2

What do you think? Is this a major improvement to the Google Maps framework, or does the prospect of seeing more corporate advertising on your phone irritate you? Leave a comment down below and share your thoughts!

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