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Google is bringing sponsored app search results to the Play Store

Google is making a lot of money from its bread and butter business, showing ads against search results. Now the tech giant is bringing ads for apps to the Play Store.
By
February 26, 2015
play store ads

Google is making a lot of money from its bread and butter business, showing ads against search results. Now the tech giant is bringing ads for apps to the Play Store.

Here’s how it works – search for a term like “travel apps” or “fitness” and the first app shown in the search results page could be a paid listing by Expedia or Endomondo. Just like on Google.com, the Play Store will show you relevant results from developers who are willing to pay for the privilege.

“Search ads on Google Play will enable developers to drive more awareness of their apps and provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed,” said Michael Siliski, Product Management Director for Google Play.

play store ads gif

Google will pilot the new feature with a select number of users over the following weeks. The first developers to gain access to paid app listings will be those who are already paying for ads for their apps on Google.com. Google has not specified it, but it looks likely that both the app and the web version of the Play Store will display the new ads.

The addition of paid search results in the Play Store could be a good way for developers to raise awareness of their applications, especially for new products. With that said, deep-pocketed developers could use ads to gain an advantage over smaller competitors, so it remains to be seen how beneficial the feature will be overall.

In general, Google could do much more to improve the quality of its search results. For a company that has so much expertise in search, the results shown in the Play Store are often a mess, with spam or unrelated results drowning out legitimate results. Our Joe Hindy will surely touch on the issue on a future installment of his series dedicated to the Play Store. Check out the first part here.