Natural Search Blog

Google Maps could be chocked full-O-ads

I was glancing at Google Maps of Tokyo when I noticed just how many ads they have running in them! I can see icons for all sorts of chain restaurants for instance, including: McDonald’s, Baskin-Robbins, 7-Eleven, Royal Host, Mini Stop, Taco John’s, Denny’s, KFC, ampm, etc.

Ads in Google Maps, Tokyo
(click to enlarge)

Now, we’ve already seen ads in Google Maps here in America, but in a much more limited deployment:

Google Maps Ads in the US
(click to enlarge)

The Tokyo map ads are not clickable like the ads in the states.

What’s really different with the Tokyo map is the density of ads within the maps is much greater, and there seems to be much more variety of companies advertising. I can only see this as the likely future for Google Maps here in the US, too — more ads, from more companies.

UPDATE 3/18/2010: Mike Blumenthal reports on how icon ads have been added to Google Maps in Australia.

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