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Google Maps search results will soon be riddled with ads

Google has announced new opportunities for advertisers within Google Maps, which means mobile users will begin seeing promoted search results.

The firm said it is experimenting with ways for companies to “prominently showcase their business locations”.

These will arrive in the form of Promoted Pins along their driving route, with cards able to show special offers and product inventory or menus.

The Promoted Pins will also appear in the “near me” listings when users search for nearby attractions, stores or refreshments.

Related: Google Maps tips, tricks and secret features

Google says it’s reacting to demand from advertisers to reach customers on mobile devices.

Of course, ads have been a huge part of the Google search experience since its inception, and to this day provide the company’s top revenue source.

However, the firm has historically trodden more carefully when it comes to messing with the integrity of Maps searches, which have always felt quite organic and democratic.

Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president, Ads & Commerce wrote on the Inside AdWords blog.

“Local business pages are also getting a brand-new look — to encourage consumers to explore your store before they even arrive, we’re adding new features like special offers and the ability to browse product inventory.”

The company already offers ads within its Waze companion app, but including them within the main Google Maps app may not go down too well with the user base.

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