Google Maps add sponsored places to your travel plans
This week, a couple of us at Blogads HQ noticed some new Places cropping up on our Google Maps. They looked just like the places we were looking for — but blue. When we clicked them we realized that they were the same Place advertised in the left column.
What’s the hope here? That we would accidentally navigate to the blue dot instead of the place we really want to go to? And if so, what would we do when we got there?
I tried to recreate the results above today, but instead of a blue “Place” in the middle of Austin, I found a brown custom Google map icon, which, I guess, is the symbol for affordable movers:
This one I kinda get. If you’re looking at a map of a city without searching for a specific place, you might be thinking of moving there. Plus, the icon doesn’t look like the little red marker of the place you’re looking for, so it’s not as potentially confusing.
Seamless integration into content is something every ad strives for, but sometimes the line between integration and interruption is blurry.
Have any sponsored Places shown up in your itinerary? What did they look like? How relevant were they to your search?