Google Maps for mobile connects ads to local searches

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A month after rolling out a new version of its popular Maps application introducing a dedicated user interface for tablets alongside new search and discovery features, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is continuing the revamp by delivering more relevant advertisements inspired by local search traffic.

Google is now inserting ads into its Maps app for mobile.

"Relevant ads on the Google Maps app can now appear at the bottom of the screen after a user performs a search," explained Google Maps Product Manager Salahuddin Choudary. "They include a title, ad text, and a link to get directions. Users can tap or swipe upward to see more information--this is a new click type known as 'Get location details' and results in a standard [cost per click] charge."

Choudary notes that when consumers click an ad to access location details, they'll now see additional information including the business address, phone number, photos and reviews. "From here, there are a number of paid and free click actions they can take," Choudary added. "Free actions include saving business information for later, sharing a business with a friend, or starting navigation. Paid clicks include the initial 'get location details' click, get directions, click-to-call and clicks on the ad headline. AdWords will only charge for up to two paid clicks per ad impression."

To show ads on the Google Maps app, advertisers must add location extensions to their search campaigns or create an ad using AdWords Express. If a campaign is not showing ads on mobile devices or on Google search partners, advertisers must change those settings as well.

The retooled Google Maps for mobile, first introduced for Google's Android and later expanded to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS--introduces Explore, which enables users to visually browse and discover nearby places by tapping the search box, with no typing required. The app also enhances motorist navigation, introducing traffic reports highlighting transit problems complete with incident details, as well as re-routing options. Also new: A 5.0 star rating system promising users a quick read on how their friends and others rank destinations like restaurants, bars and cafés, as well as search results incorporating Zagat badges of excellence and expert-curated lists.

For more:
- read this Inside AdWords blog post

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