Google has recently integrated ads right into their free service, Google Maps. Even apps belonging to the huge conglomerate are not immune to cancellation, as we recently experienced with Google Reader. Though I don't think this would happen in a million years, this could be a way for the loved service to reduce their chances of joining the cemetery of scrapped projects, like Google Health and Google Talk. Is this simply a way of monetizing Maps to keep it afloat or just a major pain in the derriere because the ads, which are presented first in the results list, might not be the cheapest or closest ones to your present location.
The ads will be clearly labeled and function exactly like anything else Maps searches bring up. This means you pull it up to see the company details which include phone number, website and directions. These ads will appear when you input a query for any sort of general business. Google's argument is that they will only post these when it seems like it is relevant to the user's current location or search entry. That being said, the ad result could potentially not be your best possible option for the nearest service to you. This new campaign is in addition to the highlighted businesses that Google places on its maps once that company has paid them to do so.
Is this really helpful for the user though? In a funny joke I read today, they described the relationship between Google and you, stating that since you aren't actually paying for the service, you're not actually its customer and in fact, you're the product. Google uses your search entries and location to try and sell you stuff, which we've been aware of for a long time. Now they’re just doing it a little more overtly.
Do these new ads make you cringe or is it just the next logical step in mobile monetization?