Google expecting to make big money off maps for your phone

Google, as the most profitable internet company in the world, did so through search advertising, and they now are moving towards another revenue source through its popular Google Maps. Google Maps has, for many, become indispensable to the 1 billion plus who use it daily while travelling locally to locate a particular destination, restaurant or entertainment venue. The service is now fourteen years and for the most part, has been ad free. However, that is set to change.

Google is choosing to change this as it looks for new ways to allow its advertisers to reach a larger audience, and one of those will be through those who use Google Maps. Another will be to increase the cost of using the technology behind its Map software. The Google Map app already will highlight locations that pay sponsorship fees, and it also will show paid listings or such things as restaurants, coffee shops, gas stations.

What has been learned is that the search business is incredibly profitable, and it is growing, but that growth cannot last forever, especially for Google as more turn to Amazon. When you consider Google already fills the top of search results with paid ads, it leaves a reduced amount of room for commercial advertising. However, with Maps, it is a somewhat new territory that Google can tap into to produce revenue, let alone search data.

At a recent conference, Philipp Schindler, Google’s business chief, stated that it is something that is almost just waiting to be turned on. That response proves that Google is not waiting and is focused on turning it on sooner, rather than later. It will include four area; utility directions, requests for nearby things, neighbourhood business listings and lastly, personalised recommendations.

While for Google, the potential is huge, it could also become a headache as regulatory changes are being introduced almost daily. Europe, in particular, has been heavy handed on the company for competition law violations, and in the U.S, many are calling for the regulation of how Google collects its dare. With the addition of adverts to Google Maps, that very well could see an increase in demands for more regulation due to the information shared through searches.

When you consider the sheer volume of data Google collects from most people, they already know a great deal of information about your preferences, lifestyle, where you work, shop and eat. Google intends to personalised Maps recommendations will be designed to be sensitive to privacy and will allow for users to opt-in or out, but the hope is, it will see an increase of those using the Maps service and therefore increase the ads revenue generated by it.

Google, who owns the navigation app Waze, has been testing ads for years, and while over 100 million have downloaded the Waze app, Google has sat back and not focuses on the potential Map adverts offer. That changed last summer when voice based directions began to mention big brand names as part of its recommendations. While most are retail based, the value in Map adverts can come in many forms such as promotional pins.

They are ideal for a wide variety of interests, and while Maps may not be conducive to online advertising, they can be geared towards online interests based on the search criteria being entered such as sports betting or mobile specific information such as a NetBet mobile app review, as it would cater specifically to those interested in sports betting. Additionally, those same adverts could be structured to include both so as to increase its appeal to those using the Maps service.


The reality is, only time will tell how successful this will prove for Google and whether it will be embraced by users. However, when consideration is taken into account based on its other successes in search advertising, there is little doubt its goals will be achieved.

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