In its seemingly endless effort to make advertising on its many platforms more focused and relevant, not to mention ever-more ubiquitous, Google has rolled out advertising on its Google Maps app. Google calls them “Relevant Ads,” and they will allow advertisers to place an ad for their business that will appear when a Map search is performed.

As blogger Jennifer Slegg noted on her Aug. 9 post to the website Search Engine Watch, the ads will appear at the bottom of a mobile device screen, be it an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet. Along with the business name, the ad includes vitals such as address, phone number, a link to directions and a link to reviews. The Maps ads will also facilitate the use photos provided by the advertiser.

Slegg explained that advertisers will access Google Maps to place an ad through new or existing campaigns, using Adwords Express to create the Maps ad. You must add a location extension to the campaign, make sure your ad is mobile-ready, and has been approved for use on Google’s search partners.

In concert with the rollout of Maps ads, Google is also changing the way it charges advertisers for user clicks. The most favorable change for businesses comes courtesy Maps users and the way they interface with Maps. Because they often click multiple times on an ad, Google will only charge advertisers for two clicks per impression. Advertisers will be charged when a user clicks on the ad headline, “location details,” directions and “click to call.” Starting navigation, sharing the information with friends, or saving business information for later will be free clicks.

Google will also break down the analytical data it provides to advertisers not only by total number of views and clicks, but by free clicks and paid clicks. Free click data will be located in a new analytics area. Google will apply standard CPC charges for the paid clicks.

Slegg notes that Google has also created a new help guide to coach advertisers through the use of the new Maps advertising feature.


Slegg, Jennifer. “Google Puts Local Ads on the Maps App“, Search Engine Watch. August 9, 2013.