Google Maps Gets an Ad Unit: Your Logo Here

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Advertising & Marketing, Technology

After a six-month tryout in Australia and New Zealand, Google is bringing sponsored map icons to the U.S., allowing companies to pay for their logos to show up directly on Google maps, indicating the location of their business.

A Google map showing the location of an HSBC branch with the bank's logo as a marker.
A Google map showing the location of an HSBC branch with the bank’s logo as a marker.

Like everything Google does, the program starts in beta, this time with four advertisers representative of the type the search giant believes will want to advertise their physical locations: Bank of America, Target, Public Storage and HSBC. Logos will start appearing on Google Maps today, and on mobile phones in the coming weeks.

Once the program is expanded, any business will be able to buy its logo on Google Maps, which sounds like it could get cluttered fast, except that Google promises that algorithms will anticipate what consumers are looking for and place logos accordingly, without letting them pile up.

“Advertisers can’t pay to increase their prominence or whether or not they appear on the map,” said product manager Matt Leske by phone from Sydney. “We look at the way people search for that business online and we look at what area people are looking at and what zoom level.” (get the rest of the story)

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