Update to Ads in Google Earth/Maps

Ads in Google EarthJust noticed a blog entry from Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land about a new feature for ads in Google Maps and Google Earth. For some time now you already could see ads if you searched for businesses in Google Earth (as seen in this story back in May last year). But, the ads used to appear randomly as an extra little bubble below the placemark description for say a placemark showing a coffee shop (there you might see a Starbucks Sponsored Link). Now, you might see a special very small placemark icon with a miniature logo of a sponsor on related searches. So, if you went into Google Earth and search for “hotels in Chicago” you will not only find the first 10 matches for hotels, but also may see a few “Sponsored links” placemarks. If you click on these, you get a placemark description with a sponsored link AND a logo image for the sponsor. This also happens if you search in Google Maps as shown here.
This is a very subtle change to adding advertisements. I don’t think these ads detract from the search results, and they certainly look better than the plain text ads randomly appearing on some placemark descriptions. So far the number of search types that produces ads seems pretty small. I tried a number of searches in big cities for all kinds of things and “hotels” was the only consistent search which brought up a few ads. I certainly like this better than the giant 3D billboards appearing in Virtual Earth 3D.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Clarification on advertising on Virtual Earth. in addition to the billboard advertising that was introduced recently, we have been running contextual visual advertising as you describe here for quite some time. As an example, this search for pet supplies in portland will show algo results as well as a sponsored results (Petco)
    interesting to note that feedback from users on both types of ads tends to be very positive.

  2. Google earth helped me as a GPS locater now i can find the routes where i want to go through my laptop thanks alot you guys are brilliant.

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